03/22/11 — Gators outlast Stallions

View Archive

Gators outlast Stallions

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 22, 2011 1:47 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- An inside-the-park home run capped a four-run outburst as Spring Creek defeated Southwest Onslow 6-2 on the baseball diamond Monday afternoon.

The Gators took some time to adjust to the variety of off-speed pitches from Stallions pitcher Austin Benson. Once the Spring Creek bats caught up with the changing speeds, the Gators' offense broke free.

"(Benson) was really hitting his spots with the curveball, and he began to rely on it more and more as we went along," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "After a couple of innings we began to square the ball up and sit back for a good pitch to hit."

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, the Gators grabbed the lead with two runs.

Zach Harrell ripped a single and stole second base ahead of an RBI double off the bat of Duane Gurganus. Ricky Brayboy followed with an RBI base hit to give the Gators the lead.

Southwest Onslow (3-6 overall) answered with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Lou Hairston led off with a single and stole second base. Chris Williams plated Hairston with an RBI base hit.

"I thought our pitchers did a great job tonight of hitting their spots," said Whitfield. "Even when we gave up the runs that we did, the pitches were good pitches. They just got a timely hit here and there."

Spring Creek broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Harrell drew a walk and scored when Brayboy reached on a two-base error. Chris Nichols followed with an RBI single. The game's biggest play came when Will Janning ripped a ball to the outfield and two Stallion fielders collided trying to make the catch. The ball rolled to the fence and Janning raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

Harrell tossed four innings, but took a no-decision on the pitcher's mound. Brayboy threw three perfect innings of relief to earn the win.

"We are playing four games in six days, so we were a little concerned with our arms," said Whitfield. "Tonight we got a good outing from two guys that we needed."

Spring Creek (4-5 overall) plays host to North Lenoir on Wednesday.