05/28/10 — Dogs take opener

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Dogs take opener

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 28, 2010 1:46 PM

HOLLY RIDGE -- Rosewood played the hand it was dealt in Game 1 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A eastern regional championship series on Thursday evening.

Unfortunately, Dixon superstar Rookie Davis did the dealing.

Davis, who has committed to East Carolina, delivered 14 strikeouts in an 11-2 victory over the Eagles. The Bulldogs claimed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series with Game 2 slated for tonight. First pitch is 7 p.m.

"I thought our guys had a good approach and we made (Davis) throw a lot of pitches," said Rosewood head coach Jason King. "Unfortunately, when you are seeing a guy that is that good, you just have to find a way on base and try to make something happen."

The Eagles did make things happen in the first inning.

Taylor Price led off the game with an infield hit and stole second base. Matt Neal followed with an RBI single between third base and shortstop.

Davis settled down and quickly quelled the rally by striking out three of the next four batters.

"I was a little shaky with the control on my fastball early," said Davis. "I just calmed myself down and did my best to locate the curveball. I knew that our guys would be ready to hit and it would take more than one run to beat us."

Davis gave his team a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he belted a two-run home run over the left field fence. The Bulldogs (22-4 overall) added three runs in the bottom of the third when Davis drew an intentional walk to load the bases before scoring on a wild pitch and an Eagle error.

Trailing 5-1, Rosewood (18-7) cut into the lead in the fourth inning when Beasley was hit by a pitch and stole second. A passed ball allowed Beasley to go to third before Trevor Cox came through with an RBI groundout.

"We felt like we could do some athletic things on the bases and we did that twice tonight," said King. "We stole bases and moved runners, and that got us two runs, but it just wasn't enough."

Dixon added two runs in the fifth and put the game away in the bottom of the sixth.

Davis led off the inning with his second home run of the game and 13th of the season. Caleb Lanier and Joey D'Zurilla followed with back-to-back singles, Dan Brown drew a walk and Zack Sicknick ripped an RBI single. T.J. Johnson added an RBI single, and Brown scored on a wild pitch complete the Bulldogs' scoring.

"We are an offensive-minded team and it showed tonight," said Davis. "I really only got two pitches to hit and I made the most of those opportunities."

Will Beasley suffered the loss on the pitcher's mound for Rosewood. Neal draws the pitching assignment tonight as the Eagles face elimination.

"We saw their ace tonight and tomorrow we get to throw our number one starter," said King. "We need to come out and swing the bats, and hopefully get ourselves in a position to force a third game on Saturday."