Spring Creek triumphs in 11 innings
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 21, 2010 1:46 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Two Bosemans are definitely better than one.
Chris Boseman's walk-off, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 11th inning scored Duane Gurganus and lifted Spring Creek to a 1-0 win over Carolina 1-A Conference archrival North Duplin on Tuesday night.
Gurganus and Eric Evans each drew a one-out walk in the home half of the 11th from Rebels' reliever Ryan Wolfe. Ricky Brayboy followed with an infield single.
Boseman hit the third pitch he saw from Wolfe softly into shallow right field to score Gurganus and end the marathon thriller.
"We finally kept battling," said Gators head coach Heath Whitfield. "We had them taking (pitches) the last couple of innings. Duane was patient and drew that walk and Eric did the same thing. Ricky legs one out and that was big and it set the table there.
"Chris did a good job of coming through when he had to. It's a whole let better to be on the winning side of that kind of game than the losing side of it."
In the top of the 11th, North Duplin's Shayne Deaver was hit by a pitch from Evans with two outs. Deaver later stole second base, which put the potential go-ahead run into scoring position.
Marcus Kornegay lined a single into center field and Rebels' head coach Joey Keefe waved Deaver around third base. However, Deaver was thrown out at the plate by Spring Creek center fielder Dontay Boseman.
"We played a great ballgame," said Keefe. "Unfortunately we wound up on the losing end of it. If I'm going to lose being aggressive, then I'll take the loss that way. If I had to do it again nine out of 10 times, I probably do."
Gurganus and North Duplin starter Brian Chase waged a pitcher's duel all night long. Chase surrendered just three hits and struck out six with five walks during eight shutout innings.
The Rebels hurler stranded a pair of Gators in the second inning and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
"Brian's not really a strikeout type of pitcher," said Keefe. "He does what he needs to do to get ground balls and get outs. He worked really well for us tonight. I couldn't be more proud of anybody. He's really only got three pitches.
"He's deceptive and he hides the ball well until it's almost time to throw. He can spot the ball up pretty well."
Gurganus tossed 10 shutout innings and scattered six hits, while striking out nine and didn't allow a walk. Evans worked a scoreless 11th to earn the win.
"Duane looked like he got stronger as the game went on," said Whitfield. "The pitch count got over 100 there at the end and we decided it was time. We didn't want to take a chance on hurting his future. Eric came in and got the job done."
Spring Creek (9-6 overall) improved to 4-1 in Carolina 1-A Conference play and trails Rosewood by one game in the standings. The Gators entertain Princeton on Thursday night.
"I'm pretty pleased with being 4-1 through the first half," said Whitfield. "As long as we can stay within shouting distance of Rosewood, anything can happen."
North Duplin (9-4, 2-3) travels to Goldsboro on Thursday.