Rosewood certainly has a flair for the dramatics this season.
After beating Princeton 10-5 in nine innings on Tuesday, the Eagles turned around defeated Hobbton 2-1 in eight innings on Thursday.
Davis Albert hit a walk-off ground-rule double to give the Eagles the win. Rosewood (6-1 overall) is now in sole possession of first place in the Carolina 1A Conference.
“Another extra-inning game and I saw a lot of grit and a lot of fight. Hobbton is a really good baseball team, and I have to give them a lot of credit,” Rosewood head coach Jason King said. “We really have held our feet to fire this week and done a great job, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
The game was scoreless through three innings, but Rosewood scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth.
Anderson Clucas hit a double to get on base. Conner Casey then hit a single while Clucas sprinted toward home plate.
Hobbton attempted to tag Clucas out at home, but Clucas made a move to get past the Hobbton catcher, and the umpire called Clucas safe.
Rosewood held a 1-0 lead until the top of the sixth, when the Wildcats scored their only run of the game off a wild pitch.
“We preach staying positive, and we try to create a positive atmosphere, and I think it pays off,” King said. “The guys have stayed behind each other, and they did not get discouraged, which I think adds up to success in the long run.”
The Eagles had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but they could not score a run, so the Eagles had to play extra innings for the second straight game.
In the top of the eighth, with two outs, Hobbton’s Ben Langston ran toward third base, but Albert made a fantastic throw from right field to Logan Merritt, who tagged Langston out to get the Eagles out of the inning.
Casey led the bottom of the eighth off with a double. Albert then stepped up to plate and gave his team a 2-1 win with a walk-off ground-rule double.
The Eagles celebrated by dumping the water cooler on Albert.
“The boys kept fighting and kept chopping. I felt really confident with the top of the order coming up. Conner has been on base for us all year, and I didn’t think that was going to stop,” King said. “I have a lot of confidence in Davis, and I know he can hit the baseball. We did the little things there at the end.”
Will Harris got the start on the pitcher’s mound. Harris pitched six and two-thirds innings and struck out 14 Wildcats. Casey, who pitched the final inning, who got the win, was 2-4 from the plate with a double and an RBI.
Albert finished the game 2-4 with a double and an RBI, while Logan Merritt and Clucas each hit one double in the game.
“Will pitched a great game, and he did exactly what we had to have out of him. He’s more than capable of doing that every time he steps on the mound, but in a big game like this, he performed so well,” King said. “Conner has a great demeanor on the mound, and he doesn’t get rattled, and he did what we needed him to do.”
Rosewood will entertain Union (0-7) on Tuesday, and King said he wants the Eagles to keep up the momentum for the rest of the season.
“In the middle of the season, you can have a tendency to relax and put it in cruise control, and we have to continue coming to the ballpark every day trying to get better, and if we don’t do that, then it’s going to catch up with us.”