Greenbrier High School’s undefeated baseball season came to a halt Saturday with a 5-4 loss to Burke County.
Tied at 4 in the top of the seventh, Wolfpack starting pitcher Christian Hill allowed a one-out walk. Two batters later, reliever Adam Grice surrendered a single that plated what would prove to be the winning run.
It was the final contest in a stretch of three games in three days for the Wolfpack, who entered ranked the No. 1 team in Class AAAA.
Greenbrier (8-1) was coming off a 5-0 win at Lakeside on Thursday and a 3-2, 10-inning affair with Effingham County on Friday.
Saturday, the Wolfpack didn’t make the most of its opportunities, stranding 10 runners, and it hurt them.
“We weren’t mentally prepared,” said Wolfpack senior outfielder Jordan Hunt. “We thought we could just come out here and beat them. A few plays here and there cost us the game.”
Hill worked six and a third innings, giving up the five runs on six hits while striking out five and walking four.
Hill walked the leadoff batter in the first inning, the next reached on an error and both came around to score for the Bears (5-4), who never trailed in the game.
Each time the Bears would score, however, the Wolfpack would battle back to cut the deficit or tie the score, except for the seventh inning.
“They outplayed us,” said Wolfpack head coach Chris Wilkins. “They got big hits when they needed them and we got big hits when we needed them. They just got one more.”
In the top of the fifth, leading 2-1, Burke County’s Sheldin Middleton singled in two runs, stretching the lead to 4-1.
The Wolfpack responded immediately.
Tyler Fournier walked and Hunter Boose singled, with Fournier scoring on Knox Marchman’s sacrifice fly. Taylor Glover bounced to the first baseman, but Boose was able to beat the throw home. Singles by Spencer Duffie and Hunt filled the bags, but Adam Grice popped out and Clint Hardy hit a hard line drive right at the left fielder to end the threat.
Boose, Duffie and Hunt would lead the Wolfpack, each going 2-for-3.
In the fifth, Fournier took a one-out walk, and Boose doubled him home on a hit-and-run to tie the score.
Bobby Gay started for the Bears, but Chris Rouse came on in relief with one out in the sixth. Rouse made things interesting in the seventh, hitting Hunt and Adam Sasser, but the Wolfpack couldn’t capitalize.