03/23/13 — Rosewood strikes late against Goldsboro

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Rosewood strikes late against Goldsboro

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 23, 2013 11:22 PM

Timely hits.

Make the plays.

Rosewood did both well in the latter stages of an 11-3 triumph over county foe Goldsboro on the Carolina 1-A Conference baseball scene Friday afternoon.

Starting pitcher Reed Howell retired the final seven batters he faced and the Eagles (2-8 overall) erupted for seven runs in the final two innings combined to stay unbeaten in two league outings this season.

"I told the guys coming over here they're a team on the rise and they're getting better every single game," Rosewood head coach Jason King said. "I said it's going to end up being a dogfight and you have to be ready for one. And it really was."

Isaiah Core, Ronald Woody and Zach Falconer combined for five of Goldsboro's six hits. Core and Woody each stole a base and put considerable defensive pressure on the Eagles with their speed in the short game.

However, the Cougars (0-9, 0-2 CC) stranded five of six runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded in the fifth inning with no outs. The bottom portion of the lineup batted a collective 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts.

Howell logged eight strikeouts total.

"Hat's off to Rosewood because when they needed to make the plays, they did," second-year Goldsboro head coach Jackson Massey said. "That was the difference in the ballgame. I just told the guys we're at the level where we can compete and play, and be in the game with everybody we play.

"The next stage we have to get to is when it's a tight game and you need that person to step up or if you make an error and need someone to stop the bleeding, someone has to do that."

Core singled to left and Woody legged out an infield bunt to start the Cougars' third inning. Core moved to third after he stole second base and scored on Howell's wild pitch, which glanced off Brent Breedlove's glove and sailed to the backstop.

A throwing error on the same play allowed Woody to take third base. Falconer's bloop single to short left field gave Goldsboro it's lone lead, 3-2.

Howell retired the next three batters and sat the Cougars down 1-2-3 in the fourth. Core and Woody sparked a fifth-inning rally, but Howell induced a fielder's choice groundout, a strikeout and line-out to first baseman Jordan Gurley to avoid any damage.

"As soon they changed their approach on the mound and started throwing some off-speed stuff in the count, our approach changed," Massey said. "We needed to stick to our same approach as hitters. We just looked like a totally different ballclub from the fifth inning on."

Howell's RBI single gave the Eagles the lead for good, 4-3, in the fourth. Rosewood added a single run in the sixth and pushed six across in the seventh on four hits, one walk and two errors.

Bryce McKeel (two RBI), Breedlove, Jon Cherry and Corey Lynn cranked out two hits apiece for Rosewood.