Spring Creek edges Snow Hill in junior legion
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 1, 2010 1:47 PM
SNOW HILL -- Eight innings of nearly perfect pitching.
One inning of all-out offense.
Each led to an exciting finish as Spring Creek edged Snow Hill, 3-2, in a nine-inning Junior American Legion baseball contest Monday evening.
The starting pitcher for each side refused to blink for four inning.
Spring Creek finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Corey Howell belted a triple into the gap in right-center field and scored on Duane Gurganus' RBI groundout.
Snow Hill immediately answered.
Ryder McLawhorn singled, Gunner Tyndal singled and Brandon Bishop reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Landon Elmore belted a base hit to left that plated the tying run, but Spring Creek starter Hunter Barnett got out of the bases-loaded jam by inducing an inning-ending flyout.
"The starting pitching in this game was absolutely excellent," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "These are two pretty evenly-matched teams and tonight the game was as even as it could be."
Spring Creek pulled ahead after Snow Hill ace Deric Grant was lifted for a relief pitcher in the top of the ninth inning.
Wyatt Janning drew a lead-off walk, Zach Harrell laid down a sacrifice bunt and Howell walked. Gurganus hammered a two-run triple to make it 3-1.
Snow Hill did not go quietly in the home half of the ninth.
With Gurganus on the mound in relief of Barnett, Post 94 rallied. Bishop belted a one-out single and Brann singled. Elmore pulled his team within 3-2 with an RBI base hit. Ryan Cobb was then intentionally walked to load the bases.
Snow Hill coach Scott Jones rolled the dice and elected to try a suicide squeeze bunt that would have tied the game and moved the winning run to third base. The plan backfired when Trent Murray's bunt went up in the air and resulted in a double play to end the game.
"That was one of those situations where we felt like we needed to extend the game," said Jones. "Trent is one of our best bunters and we had it set up. It was just one of those plays that didn't go the way we had planned."
Gurganus tossed three innings of relief to get the win on the mound.
Spring Creek (2-0 overall) will take the rest of the week off for exams before battling Wayne County South on Friday.
Snow Hill (0-2) will play host to Charles B. Aycock tonight for makeup game of an earlier contest that was rained out.
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