05/12/09 — Spring Creek upsets state-ranked North Johnston

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Spring Creek upsets state-ranked North Johnston

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on May 12, 2009 1:46 PM

KENLY -- Duane Gurganus pitched a complete-game shutout as Spring Creek upset state-ranked North Johnston 6-0 in the Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season finale for both teams Monday evening.

Gurganus, a freshman, kept the Gators' season alive.

Spring Creek (10-11 overall) finished tied with Princeton for fourth in the six-team league. The teams meet today for a "play-in" game at Scarborough Field on the Mount Olive College campus. First pitch is 5 p.m.

The Gators initially thought they had secured the league's final automatic postseason bid until contacting the N.C. High School Athletic Association this morning. The coaches learned they had misinterpreted the tiebreaker procedures.

"I was told one thing by the (Carolina) conference president and a different thing by the state (association)," said third-year Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "We have to do what the state says."

Today's winner opposes Coastal Plains champion Holly Ridge Dixon in opening-round play later this week. If the Gators win, Whitfield wants to play the game Thursday due to the school's prom on Friday.

Gurganus permitted five hits and logged four strikeouts against North Johnston, which lost three of its final four conference games of the season.

The Gators owned a 1-0 lead before breaking the contest open with a five-run, seventh-inning outburst. Paul Hayes and Eric Evans each belted a two-RBI hit during that stretch.

Hayes, Evans, Gurganus, Dontay Boseman, Steven Best and Corey Howell finished with one hit apiece.

Princeton is 9-14 overall after completing a suspended game against Ayden-Grifton on Monday. The Dawgs (3-7 Carolina) lost 9-3 after surrendering six seventh-inning runs when rain halted the contest last Thursday.