05/23/09 — Class 1-A baseball playoffs: Rosewood eliminated from postseason by Topsail

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Class 1-A baseball playoffs: Rosewood eliminated from postseason by Topsail

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 23, 2009 11:05 PM

Rosewood's second attempt at a second consecutive, seventh-inning rally never materialized Friday evening.

Topsail used a final-inning rally of its own.

The Pirates manufactured three runs off defensive miscues and claimed a 14-11, third-round victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A baseball playoffs. The reigning eastern champion, Topsail faces Ayden-Grifton on Tuesday.

Rosewood concluded its 2009 campaign with a 16-7 worksheet.

The Pirates (18-9 overall) scratched for runs in five of seven innings and put 11 runs on the board with two outs.

"That was because of mistakes ... mistake pitches and not necessarily errors," said Eagles head coach Jason King. "We missed a spot on the pitch and a guy hits it far. Passed balls ... things like that. Our guys knew they were going to put the bat on the ball."

The most-critical, two-out sequence occurred in the seventh.

Reliever Matt Neal appeared to wiggle out of a jam when Tyler Redinger forced brother Dan out at the plate on a fielder's choice grounder. But Jake Stone followed with a two-out single and the Pirates eventually plated three runs.

Two passed balls, a dropped third strike and an errant throw aided Topsail's final-inning cause.

"One thing we've talked about all season and especially in our playoff run is we want to get that one big hit," said Topsail head coach and Southern Wayne alum Bill White. "Tonight, it didn't matter who was up there because they came through in a pressure situation for us. As a coach, you're thrilled any time you score a run with two outs.

"But to score 11 runs with two outs is phenomenal."

Topsail finished with eight earned runs against three Rosewood pitchers -- starter Will Beasley, and relievers Cody Richards and Neal. The trio combined to allow 12 hits on 148 pitches.

Stone and Ethan King homered for the Pirates, who return five starters off last year's state runner-up squad.

Rosewood, the Conference Carolina champion, threatened with two outs in its final at-bat of the season. Neal singled, stole second and scored on Cody Richards' third RBI double of the night. Richards was left stranded when the Pirates' shortstop robbed Will Beasley on a line-drive, game-ending hit.

"I tip my hat to Rosewood ... a scrappy bunch who gave us all we could handle," said White. "They've got some boys who can really swing the bat. Their pitching was good, too. We were just fortunate to win."

The Eagles collected 12 hits off three Pirate hurlers. Richards, Steven Bostic, Jonathan Franks (two RBI) and Scott Pate (three RBI) each recorded a multiple-hit outing.

The contest marked the final game for seniors Richards, Bostic and Josh Davis. The trio helped guide Rosewood to its first conference championship since 2001 and just its eighth overall since 1981.