The long holiday weekend provided the backdrop for the Greenbrier Wolfpack baseball team’s chase for their first state title since 2007.
The Wolfpack and host Loganville Red Devils split a doubleheader Saturday – the Red Devils winning 4-2 in game one with the Wolfpack rebounding for a 12-3 win in game two.
In the best of three series finale for the GHSA Class AAAA championship on Monday, the Red Devils walked away victorious as they downed the Wolfpack 14-4 in six innings.
After the final game, senior Jordan Hunt, who took the game one loss, was handed the runner-up trophy.
“It’s not the trophy we wanted,” said Hunt, who finished the year 10-1. “You can’t win (them) all. We happened to lose the biggest one of the year.
“All around we’ve had a great year. Just to make it this far tells me how good we’ve been. God has a plan and I guess this is part of it.”
Hunt and fellow senior Hunter Boose were instrumental in the Wolfpack’s rout in game two on Saturday. Hunt belted two home runs and Boose added another to help junior Austin Robinson to the complete-game victory. Robinson finished the year with an 11-1 record.
On Monday, the Wolfpack trailed 7-0 after two innings. They got to within 7-4 in the top of the fourth inning, but that was as close as they got. Junior Christian Hill was the first of four pitchers the Wolfpack used and would take the loss, finishing the year at 7-2.
The Wolfpack ended the year at 31-5, their best mark since they went 33-1 while winning the state title in 2006. Fourth-year head coach Chris Wilkins said they couldn’t have come this far without his group of five seniors.
“I’m very proud of these seniors,” Wilkins said. “They’re the first group that came when I got here. They’ve been a very special group to me. They’ve gone far beyond anything we’ve asked them to do.”
With the win, the Red Devils won the state title for the first time since 2008 and avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time in 2012. Garrett Ford (10-1) was the Red Devils’ winner, scattering eight hits.
“When we needed a big hit, we just hit it right at somebody,” Wilkins said. “They certainly deserved the 14 runs they got. We didn’t give them anything. I certainly thought we would have scored more than four the way we hit the ball.”
Losing just the five seniors, the Wolfpack might return more than two-thirds of the current roster next season.
“Hopefully we’ll be back soon,” Wilkins said. “I certainly don’t like this taste in my mouth and I’d like to get it out somehow, but we’re going to have to wait a year to do that.”