Rose, Conley close with wins
By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
J.H. Rose’s batters didn’t have much success against Topsail starter Payton Phelps during Wednesday night’s game at Guy Smith Stadium.
They did, however, have just enough success to get a slim lead early, and when Phelps exited the game, the Rampants pounced.
Rose rallied from an early two-run deficit and had a couple of crucial hits in a three-run sixth inning that gave it the cushion it needed for a 6-2 victory in the final game of this year’s Pitt County Classic.
It was the fourth straight win for the Rampants (18-2), who also bested Bunn and North Lenoir in the tournament. Topsail fell to 13-6, having also lost 9-0 earlier Wednesday to D.H. Conley.
“We played three very good teams this weekend, and this is really going to help us going back into conference,” Rose coach Ronald Vincent said. “We’ve got a three game lead with three games to go, so we’ve got to finish strong. That’s your goal, anyhow, is to be playing your best ball at the end of the year and right now, we’re playing pretty good ball.”
Topsail picked up two quick runs in the first to set the stage for Phelps. The senior lefty mowed through the Rampants’ lineup, striking out five straight at one point and finishing the night with 12 Ks before he was lifted three batters into the sixth.
Rose used some timely hitting and a little luck to rally, getting an RBI single from Robby Wacker in the first before tying it when Tyshawn Barrett scored on a throwing error in the third. Hunter Christopher gave Rose a 3-2 lead with an RBI double down the left field line in the next at-bat.
From there, the Rampants rode out Phelps’ dominance. They pounced immediately after he was relieved, getting a two-run single by Greg Hardison and an RBI single by Coleman Sawyer in consecutive at-bats in the sixth to make it 6-2.
“I can’t say enough about that left-hander (Phelps),” Vincent said. “Man, he just ate us up, throwing any pitch he wanted and a strike any time he wanted. He was tough and we were very fortunate to win, but you’ve got to say a lot about guys getting on base and running the bases. We had a couple of real big hits, one from Coleman early on and ones from Greg and Hunter there late.”
JHR starter Michael Crumpler settled in after giving up those two runs in the first. He made it to the fourth before giving way to Christopher, who entered with two runners on base and got consecutive outs to escape the jam.
D.H. Conley 9, Topsail 0
Conley continued its late-season push, riding an eight-strikeout performance from pitcher Noah Jones to a victory over Topsail.
Brock Cross belted a three-run home run to left field as part of a six-run fifth inning that propelled the Vikings (11-6) to their fourth win in the last five games. After starting 3-4, DHC has won nine of its last 11.
“We had our full lineup back from injury and sickness, and I challenged them in this tournament,” said Conley coach Jason Mills, whose team went 3-0 in the tourney with wins over Pine Forest and South Lenoir. “We were playing three quality clubs and finishing up with Topsail, and this was a big win for us.
“I didn’t particularly think (Topsail) came out sharp. I thought they came out a little flat, but we’ll take it.”
Jones didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and gave up just three on the day. He helped his own cause with a two-run double in the top of the first that got the scoring started.
An RBI double by Jake Lysaght and a two-run single by Robby O’Neal in the fifth swelled the lead to 6-0 before Cross’ shot over the left field fence provided the exclamation point.
Lysaght was 3-for-4 as the only Viking with more than one hit.
Contact Jordan Anders at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.
Rosewood 12, Parrott Academy 8
R...050 110 5—12 16 1
P...201 140 0—8 12 3
WP — Tucker Chapin. LP — Joseph Spear.
Leading hitters: P — Christian Jones 2-4, RBI; Connor Bright 2-4, 2 RBIs.
Record: P 11-10.
Hertford County 8, Farmville Central 4
HC...010 103 3—8 8 4
FC...200 110 0—4 6 5
WP — E. Merritt. LP — Gracen Terrell.
Leading hitters: FC — Abby Foster 2-4, RBI; Kacey Rose 1-4, HR, RBI; Ashton Turnage 1-4, 2B, RBI.
Up next: FC in SW Edgecombe Easter Tournament at 5 p.m. Thursday.