Greenbrier High School’s sweep of South Forsyth in the second round of the AAAA baseball playoffs Thursday, preventing a deciding game Friday, was important for several reasons.
First, the Wolfpack advanced to the playoffs’ third round with 4-1, 5-2 wins, giving Chris Wilkins the time Friday to take care of what had been on his mind all day.
“My wife (Rebecca) is giving birth tomorrow and I just want to be a dad,” said Wilkins, who said the name for his daughter will be Maris. “It was tough to conceal my emotions. It was definitely a struggle. The team had my back today, and I just love ’em.”
Game 2 went into extra innings. In the top of the ninth, designated hitter Clint Hardy drilled a 2-1 fastball over the fence for a two-run homer, breaking the 2-2 tie. The Wolfpack (26-2) added a run, and Austin Robinson retired the side easily in the bottom of the ninth.
“I got all of that one,” said Hardy, who added that he just missed the previous pitch. “I wish it could have been a walk-off, but a win’s a win.”
Robinson (9-0) went the complete way for the Wolfpack, his third extra-innings win of the season. He struck out eight and had great defensive play behind him.
In three consecutive innings, second baseman Connor Hoover started two inning-ending double plays and made a diving stop behind second base to get a forced out to end the inning. In the sixth inning, first baseman Adam Grice made a diving grab of an attempted suicide squeeze and threw to third to complete the inning-ending double play.
In Game 1, Jordan Hunt (8-0) walked one and gave up two hits in the first inning as the War Eagles (20-10) jumped on top 1-0. He then went into shutdown mode. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed just one more hit the rest of the way and finished with six strikeouts.
“I felt good in that first game,” said Hunt. “It was all coming together.”
Hunt was tough at the plate as well with three hits and three RBI on the day. His first-inning double in Game 1 gave the Wolfpack a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
He, too, was the recipient of stellar defensive play. The first two batters reached for the War Eagles in the top of the third, but Spencer Duffie grabbed a fly ball to center and gunned down the runner attempting to score from third by a wide margin. In the sixth, Duffie made a nice running grab of a shallow fly ball and threw to first to double up the runner who strayed too far.
Up next: Greenbrier will play host Tuesday to the Marist vs. Mundy’s Mill winner in AAAA Elite 8.