Deacon Jones Invitational: Eagles soar early, shut out Gators
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 17, 2014 1:48 PM
PRINCETON -- One inning usually doesn't determine the overall outcome of a baseball game.
Wednesday afternoon was an exception.
Rosewood's defense trapped county foe Spring Creek in a base-running blunder, exploded offensively during its first at-bat and cruised to a 10-0 mercy-rule win on opening day of the 2014 Deacon Jones Invitational.
The Eagles halted the Gators' 11-game win streak and oppose North Johnston in the championship game today on the Princeton High School diamond. First pitch is 7 p.m.
Spring Creek faces Princeton in the third-place game at 4 p.m.
"I thought the boys played well," Rosewood head coach Jason King said. "They played with life, were up for the game. They embarrassed us the last time at our place ... not going to beat around the bush about that and I think it hurt (our pride) a little bit."
The Eagles' self esteem got a big first-inning boost. The Gators' Logan Miller drew a lead-off walk and stole second base with Sawyer Smith at the plate. Smith struck out.
Seconds later, Rosewood right-hander Reed Howell caught Miller in a rundown between second and third. The Eagles completed the 1-4-5 putout and the Gators, who had their 11-game win streak snapped, could never recover.
The Eagles (10-4 overall) carried the momentum over onto offense and plated five two-out runs. Brent Breedlove (2-for-3) connected on two-RBI double to left field. One batter later, Corey Lynn stroked a two-RBI single up the middle.
Lead-off batter Jordan Lynn capped the rally with a run-scoring single that deflected off of Spring Creek starting pitcher Hunter Walker. It was Walker's first start of the season.
"We couldn't get that third out ... a big inning that really put us behind," SC head coach Heath Whitfield said. "For whatever reason, the effort and intensity was not there. We had some guys playing some different spots and some young guys throwing, but there's no excuse in the way we played at all."
Howell limited Spring Creek to two hits and struck out five in a complete-game effort. The right-hander retired nine of 11 batters during the early portion of the game.
Rosewood induced the mercy rule with a five-run, fifth-inning outburst. Designated hitter Derek Neal connected on a two-RBI double, Breedlove produced a run-scoring double
logged five fifth-inning runs that included a two-RBI double by designated hitter Derek Neal, who scored on a double steal. Breedlove produced a run-scoring double and finished the afternoon with three RBI.
"He got in a little groove today, which was big for us," King said of Breedlove.
Ethan Chapin ended the game with a walk-off single up the middle. Overall, the Eagles collected 14 hits against Walker and right-handed reliever Matt Dupuy.
Rosewood recorded just the fourth shutout in DJI history since 2006, and punched its ticket to the finals for the second time in the last three years.
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