05/14/10 — Spring Creek crushes W-RH

View Archive

Spring Creek crushes W-RH

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 14, 2010 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- The pre-game jitters disappeared after one hit.

Then the adrenaline took over.

Spring Creek erupted for five runs in the first two innings, and dumped Wallace-Rose Hill 10-0 in opening-round action of the 2010 N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A baseball playoffs Thursday evening.

The Carolina Conference runners-up, the Gators (13-9 overall) continue play Tuesday at either Three Rivers champion East Columbus or play host to James Kenan. The teams play today.

"I thought we were a little nervous during infield (warm-ups), but once we got our feet wet a little bit and got into the flow a little bit, everybody just relaxed and played," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield.

The collective sigh came in the first inning.

Spring Creek right-hander Duane Gurganus, who earned the complete-game shutout victory, retired the Dogs in order during their first at-bat.

Dontay Boseman started the Gators' first inning with a sharply-hit, first-pitch single to right field. The aggressive lead-off hit calmed down Spring Creek, which was playing its first home postseason game since 2004.

"That was real big," said Whitfield. "You could feel the whole intensity level of the dugout come up as soon as that ball went through. Everybody was ready to get up there (in the box) thinking we can hit this guy."

"That helped us a lot mentally."

The Gators tagged Bulldog right-hander Matthew Bryant for three first-inning runs on three hits, a hit batsman and a walk. Bryant (6-4) surrendered eight runs on eight hits through the first four innings, but was also victimized by three errors.

Spring Creek sent 26 batters to the plate during that stretch.

"We had good approaches at the plate and hit the ball hard," said Whitfield. "We knew their defense was a little bit shaky, and if we put the ball in play, we had a chance."

Seven of nine Gators recorded at least one hit in the mercy rule-shortened affair. Boseman, Gurganus (2 RBI) and Cory Howell (RBI) provided two hits apiece. Catcher Chris Nichols laced a two-strike curveball backside and drove in two first-inning runs.

Ricky Brayboy stroked a fifth-inning, RBI triple. Chris Boseman and Hunter Barnett each delivered one base hit.

"We were aggressive from the get-go," said Whitfield.

Gurganus permitted two hits and fanned six W-RH batters on 92 pitches, including 57 strikes. He allowed just seven base runners, and the Gator defense erased three on the basepaths.

The Bulldogs (9-16) left four runners aboard, including three in scoring position.

"Duane did a good job, he battled and threw well," said Whitfield. "He lost focus a couple of times during the game, but he got it back in the right spots. He got outs ... did what he had to do."