05/12/09 — Rosewood captures Carolina 1-A Conference title

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Rosewood captures Carolina 1-A Conference title

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 12, 2009 1:46 PM

CALYPSO -- Rosewood overcame early offensive woes and battered North Duplin 10-0 in the Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season finale for both teams Monday evening.

The Eagles' win, coupled with Spring Creek's upset of state-ranked North Johnston, captured their first conference title -- shared or outright -- since 2001. Rosewood (14-6 overall, 8-2 CC) opens the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs at home Friday.

"I don't know if the situation has really sank in with these guys yet," said first-year Rosewood head coach Jason King. "I knew we had the talent to win a championship. We just had to come out and execute and stay focused."

Rosewood started slow.

The Eagles loaded the bases on three consecutive first-inning hits, but came up empty. King's team stranded an additional two runners in the second inning.

"That has kind of become a habit for us lately," said King. "As long as the runs come at some point, you can't worry about it too much as a coach."

And the runs did come.

Cody Richards drew a one-out walk to start the third inning and scored on Will Beasley's two-run, home run that sailed over the center-field fence. It was just Rosewood's fifth round-tripper of the season.

Jonathan Franks drew a walk, Scott Pate reached on an error and Trevor Cox stroked an RBI double. Two batters later, Taylor Price capped the five-run outburst with an RBI single.

"We had some trouble locating pitches," said North Duplin head coach Joey Keefe. "When you leave the ball up in the zone, guys are going to hit it hard."

Rosewood collected two fourth-inning runs and induced the mercy rule in the fifth inning. Matt Neal led off with a single and Steven Bostic singled. Richards cleared the bases with a home run.

Richards retired the Rebels in order during their final at-bat and the Eagles celebrated their first conference crown in six seasons.

""Matt (Neal) gave us a good outing for the first three innings, and Cody came in and threw really well," said King. "There isn't anymore you can ask than five shutout innings."

Rebels hurler Brian Chase endured the mound loss. North Duplin concluded the season 6-15 overall and 2-8 in conference play.

"We have a good, young core (of players) coming back next season," said Keefe. "Hopefully this offseason we can get better, and come back next year and show it on the field."