Wildcat Baseball 2011 - 3rd Round: My Site News: Chapel Hill rallies past Wildcats

Sunday, March 13
Chapel Hill rallies past Wildcats
Elefante double provides 3 runs  
BY W.E. WARNOCK, CHN Sports Editor
On a night cold enough to dramatically boost hot-chocolate sales at the concession booth, Chapel Hill High's bats produced just enough heat to generated a 5-2, come-from behind win against archrival East Chapel Hill.

Andrew Romaine, a 6-5 right-hander, picked up the win by shutting down the Wildcats after they went up 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Entering in the second, Romaine struck out three, walked one and gave up a single Texas-leaguer over four innings of work.

"The temperature does make a difference," Romaine said. "Your hands get stiff."

In between innings, Romaine huddled near a heater in the dugout, keeping his hands as warm as possible.

"That helped some," he said.

Michael Elefante -- who belted a two-run, walk-off homer in Chapel Hill's season-opening, 4-2 win over Northern Durham -- provided the big hit again Friday at Tiger Stadium. His double to the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the second inning drove in three runs, all the offense CHHS (2-1) needed.

East (3-2) grabbed the early lead after Parker Tew led off the game with a single into left and Taylor West drew a walk. Phillip Morales, facing a full count, cracked a double down the third base line to score Tew and West.

Romaine broke up the Wildcats rhythm by striking out four of the first six batters he faced. Lee Gilliam finished the final two innings for CHHS, striking out four and putting down the final six batters in order.

"We should have scored a couple more runs than we did in the first couple of innings," East coach Phil Woodell said. "They brought in Romo and Lee, and that's some good pitching, but I was still hoping we'd get some better swings on the ball."

Romaine said he never worried about getting enough offensive support from his teammates.

"I know we're a good offensive team and we're going to score some runs," Romaine said. "As long as our pitching holds them and keeps them from scoring too much, I knew we'd be fine."

Just to make sure, Romaine did his part at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base, and he scored an insurance run in the fifth off a sacrifice by Michael Brandewie.

A series of walks set up Elefante's 3-RBI double in the second. With two outs, Scott James was hit b a pitch, and Roarke Bowers reached first on an error. Successive walks to Chad Fisher and Gilliam drove in James and left the bases loaded for Elefante.

"Michael is one of the best hitters in the state," CHHS coach Randy Trumbower said. "He's going to dominate, and he's going to make things interesting for everybody."

Trumbower was happy to see his players win on such a cold night.

"When you get to beat a rival, you can't ask for anything more," he said.

"We've got a few holes still to fill and few problems we've got to handle, some injuries still to get through, but for the most part I saw a lot of good things tonight, a lot of positive things."

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