03/20/13 — Gators capitalize, open Carolina 1-A play with win

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Gators capitalize, open Carolina 1-A play with win

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 20, 2013 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek capitalized when it put pressure on Princeton's defense Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs didn't.

Logan Miller permitted six hits in a six-inning stint, and eight of nine starters collected at least one base knock in the Gators' 6-1 triumph at "The Swamp." It was the Carolina 1-A Conference opener for both teams.

"I thought we did what we had to do to win," Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield said. "I don't think Logan had his best stuff, but he battled and got out of a lot of jams on a lot of three-ball counts.

"I thought our defense was really good behind him."

Miller fanned six Princeton batters and walked four in a 90-pitch effort. The left-hander picked off a runner in the first inning. The Bulldogs grounded out on back-to-back double plays in the second and third innings.

Princeton left six runners on base.

"Early mistakes, but it's getting to the time where it's no longer early," Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor said. "We've got to stop making those mistakes. We can't beat ourselves."

Spring Creek's bottom part of the order -- Ian Ladd, Tre Hammonds, Will Rouse and Hunter Walker -- spearheaded a second-inning offensive outburst. Ladd reached on a one-out single and moved into scoring position when Hammonds legged out an infield bunt.

Rouse, a freshman, loaded the sacks with an infield single that died along the third-base line.

Walker, one of six freshmen on the roster, plated Ladd with a sacrifice fly to left field. Luke Miller followed with a two-RBI single and Logan Miller pushed the advantage to 4-0 with an RBI single to right center field.

"They came through, they sure did," Whitfield said of the bottom four. "Those two freshmen had a couple of good at-bats in there, Tre did a good job of getting on base. They were big for us, they really were."

The Gators (4-4 overall, 1-0 CC) pushed across single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. Ladd, Rouse and Coor ended the night with two hits apiece.

Princeton (2-6, 0-1) scored its lone run on a fourth-inning throwing error by the Gators. Michael Wooten, who suffered the mound loss, led the Bulldogs with two hits.