Gators pressure Dawgs' defense
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 13, 2012 1:48 PM
PRINCETON -- Defensive pressure.
Spring Creek, once again, made the strategy work in its favor during opening day of the 2012 Deacon Jones Invitational on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex diamond.
The Gators benefited from six errors and claimed a 9-1 decision over tournament host Princeton on Thursday evening. Spring Creek (9-6 overall) opposes county rival Rosewood in the championship game today at 7 p.m.
The Bulldawgs (3-10) take on county foe North Johnston at 4 p.m.
"We read all the time about how teams make errors against us, but our guys put the ball in play and make things happen," SC head coach Heath Whitfield. "That's what good teams do ... take advantage of other people's mistakes. I thought our guys did a good job of that and we have done a good job of that all year."
Spring Creek scratched out just four hits, but swiped six bases, which constantly put pressure on a Princeton defense that's been snake-bitten all season. Eight walks, five wild pitches, two hit batsmen and a passed ball further compounded the Dawgs' troubles during the 2-hour, 17-minute affair.
The teams combined for 10 unearned runs on 10 errors.
"We don't have a lot of big boppers who can knock the ball around the ballpark, but we do put the ball in play quite a bit," Whitfield said. "We put pressure on other teams by moving guys around, sending base runners which gets the defense moving around a little bit. That helped, too."
The not-so-stellar defensive action nearly overshadowed a two-hit gem tossed by Spring Creek's tandem of Corey Howell and Logan Miller. Howell retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced and permitted a second-inning single to the Dawgs' Austin Hinton.
"Corey did a good job," Whitfield. "He got behind a lot (in the count) early in the game, but as the game went along, he got better."
Miller threw a perfect seventh.
Zach Harrell paced the Gators' offense with two hits, including an RBI double in the seventh inning. Miller (RBI) and catcher Chris Nichols each added one RBI.
Hinton had both hits for the Dawgs.
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