04/13/11 — Spring Creek rallies on road

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Spring Creek rallies on road

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 13, 2011 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- Spring Creek experienced its fair share of losing during the non-conference portion of its baseball schedule this spring.

The Gators are taking their frustrations out on their Carolina 1-A Conference opponents. They scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning in a 10-8, comeback win at Princeton on Tuesday night.

After going 4-6 in non-conference play, Spring Creek (9-7 overall, 5-1 CC) has won five of its last six games.

"Our kids didn't quit," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "I don't know how we did it, but we found a way and that's what we've been doing in conference play.

"I just think kids our want to win. We've got good senior leadership, they do what it takes to win and they don't want to lose."

Tyler Craft's RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning scored Drew McCoy from first base to tie the game at 5-5. Blake Schultz's two-out RBI single gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 6-5.

Austin Hinton later scored on a wild pitch.

Spring Creek used three consecutive walks to load the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh inning. Nichols' sacrifice fly pulled the Gators to within 7-6. Will Janning's sac bunt scored Gurganus to tie the game at 7-7.

Eric Mosley reached on a fielder's choice in the top of the eighth inning. Pinch-runner Anthony Russo advanced to second base on an error and scored on Howell's single. Prior to his game-winning single, Howell was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.

Howell later scored on an error and Nichols added an RBI single to give the Gators a 10-7 lead.

Schultz's RBI single in the home half of the eighth inning sliced the lead to 10-8. Howell struck out Stewart with runners on first and second base to end the ballgame, and earned the win on the mound with two innings of one-hit, two-strikeout relief.

The Gators benefited from seven Bulldogs' errors.

"We've got nobody to blame but ourselves," said Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor, whose team fell to 4-9. "We could have made a few plays but we didn't, but we're getting better."

Starting pitchers Duane Gurganus and Hinton each recorded a no-decision. Gurganus surrendered four runs on eight hits and recorded one strikeout in five-plus innings for the Gators. Hinton posted 11 strikeouts in a seven-inning stint.