Tigers prepare for playoff battle with familiar foe

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, May 20, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
After earning come-from-behind victories in the first two round of the NCHSAA 1-A playoffs, Williamston put the pedal to the metal early to top Gates County 10-0 in its last postseason win. Today, when the Tigers host the defending state champion Princeton Bulldogs, Williamston knows it must get off to a fast start.
Princeton (16-10), the No. 2 seed from the Carolina Conference, will trot out staff ace Ron Daughtry to the mound, which means if the Tigers fall behind early, it could be trouble.
The Atlantic Conference champion Tigers (18-7) will counter with their own ace Heath Rogerson. The senior has been in several big games for Williamston, and the Tigers feel whenever he is on the mound that their chance to win is as good as anybody’s.
Tice said the key to Rogerson’s success is his consistent accuracy.
Today’s matchup features two teams with a strong baseball tradition who are no strangers to each other.
The last time the two titans collided was in the 2004 East Region Championship Series, which the Bulldogs won 3-1, 11-6.
Tice said that Princeton does a good job of executing the fundamentals of the game.
Led by A.J. and Trey Peaks, along with Will Davis, Josh Warren and Scott, the Tigers have been making good contact as well throughout the playoffs.
However, Tice said the key to coming away with a fourth-round playoff victory will be team defense.
While Williamston has done a nice job of offense and defense all season, Tice said what makes this team special is that the players get along really well with one another.
Hopefully for the Tigers, that chemistry will formulate a win over Princeton.