04/13/12 — Winslow shuts down Panthers

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Winslow shuts down Panthers

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 13, 2012 1:48 PM

PRINCETON -- That miserable, frustrating 0-7 start has faded into the distance.

Rosewood head coach Jason King hopes the memory doesn't come back.

The Eagles continued their mid-season surge with a 9-4 triumph over North Johnston on opening day of the 2012 Deacon Jones Invitational contested at the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex.

King's team captured its fourth win in its last five outings.

"We couldn't forget about the (0-7 start) soon enough, I'll tell you that" grinned King. "I feel like we're an improving ball team. I tell the kids all the time we're no where as good as we can be, but improvement is our goal every day."

Rosewood (4-9 overall) will defend its Invitational crown today against county rival Spring Creek. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Princeton High School.

Junior right-hander John Winslow cooled down the hot-hitting Panthers, who entered the game with a .352 team batting average. Winslow flirted with a no-hitter for four innings and permitted just three base runners -- all on walks -- during that stretch.

North Johnston's Cameron Davis spoiled Winslow's no-hit bid with a fifth-inning single. The Panthers (7-6) plated four runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined against Winslow, who yielded three runs (one earned) on three hits in 86 pitches.

"A really good outing by John," King said. "I'm proud of him. He's had some ups and downs this year, but this was a good one for him. I hope that builds him some confidence."

Ian Speight provided 1-plus inning of one-hit relief.

The Eagles gave Winslow plenty of working room in the second inning.

North Johnston right-hander Brandon Creech plunked Will Lane, Winslow reached on an infield error and catcher Taylor McGill walked to load the bases. Lead-off batter Matt Shaw, who concluded the day 3-for-4, chopped a grounder over the third baseman's head to score two runs.

Reed Howell followed with a two-RBI single up the middle.

Rosewood pushed across a combined five runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Speight's two-run home run capped the scoring.

"I was happy with the way we came out early, started swinging the bats and putting the ball in play ... putting pressure on the defense, which is big" King said. "Of course, it all starts on the mound. If your pitching keeps you close, then you've got a chance."