Baseball

Middle Creek holds on to defeat Broughton, 4-2

Posted April 15

Middle Creek defeated Broughton 4 to 2 in the Bobby Murray Chevrolet High School Baseball Invitation on Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017.
(Photo By: Beth Jewell/HighSchoolOT.com)

— Middle Creek built an early lead that was enough to hold off Broughton Saturday afternoon, 4-2, in Raleigh at the 30th annual Bobby Murray Invitational at Millbrook High School.

The Mustangs’ victory gives Middle Creek a 2-1 record in the tournament with wins against Corinth Holders and Broughton, and one loss versus Heritage.

“We had a few opportunities last night and we just didn’t come through, but today we were able to come out in the first inning and put a crooked number up that gave us a breath of fresh air,” said Middle Creek manager Wesley King. “We were able to get some guys in there throwing strikes, and we got the game.”

Unlike its loss the night prior to Heritage, Middle Creek struck early and often.

Senior Tucker Rogers got Middle Creek on the board in the first inning with an RBI triple that scored seniors Jake Forte and Jonathan D’Ercole. Fellow senior William Puigcerver later popped a blooper into left field that scored Rodgers to give the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead.

The Capitals were held without a hit until sophomore Jon Benefield singled with two outs in the third inning.

Broughton threatened with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, but Middle Creek junior reliever Ethan Hughes – who took over for the Mustangs’ starter, junior Ryan Chasse – was able to escape unscathed.

Hughes hit a batter and gave up both a hit and walk to load the bases, but the junior was able to pick off Caps sophomore Xander Hamilton with two outs and a 3-1 count on the batter.

The Mustangs made Broughton pay for its missed opportunity with another run in the latter half of the fourth inning to extend its lead to four runs.

Broughton finally broke through with two runs in the sixth inning off the bat of senior Warren Grady. The senior drilled a ball into center-right field that scored sophomore Penn Sealey and junior Tobin Petrie.

The Capitals threatened again in the seventh inning with two men on base and the winning run at home plate, Middle Creek senior closer Brett Rendon closed the door on a potential Broughton comeback.

Middle Creek used five pitchers Saturday afternoon – seniors Brendan Woods and Derek Roy, Chasse, Hughes and Rendon.

“It was pitching by committee today,” King said. “With three games in three days, it’s tough on a high school program to finish, especially with the way these are set up. We’re fortunate to have the depth we have and have guys that go out there and throw strikes.”

Middle Creek (11-6, 5-5 SWAC) will return to action Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Apex against Cary. Broughton (2-13, 2-6 CAP 8) is slated to host Green Hope Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

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