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Pitching, defense help Greenbrier take out Evans

Posted: March 22, 2013 - 10:26pm  |  Updated: March 27, 2013 - 12:04am
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Photo by JIm Blaylock  Greenbrier third baseman Knox Marchman grabs a grounder and fires to first for an out against Evans.
Photo by JIm Blaylock Greenbrier third baseman Knox Marchman grabs a grounder and fires to first for an out against Evans.

When opportunities presented themselves, the Greenbrier Wolfpack baseball team was able to take advantage of them Friday night.

The Wolfpack turned two Evans errors into five unearned runs, winning the Region 2A-AAAAA contest, 7-0.

The win evened the season series at one win apiece as the Wolfpack improved to 8-2, 4-1 region.

Lefty starter Adam Sasser (2-0) worked five innings, shutting down the Knights on three hits, before Clint Hardy finished with two innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit.

“The defense is playing really good and they have been all year,” said Sasser, who walked four and struck out two. “I couldn’t have done it without them,”

After striking out four in the first two innings, the Wolfpack got to Evans starter Kyle Anderson (3-1) for three unearned runs after a two-out error helped open the floodgates.

“You can’t give them runs, you can’t give them the opportunities and we did,” said Knights head coach Ricky Beale. Evans fell to 8-4, 2-3 with the loss.

Wolfpack center fielder Chris Michals doubled home a run in the third and knew it was important to give Sasser run support.

“You’ve got to back him up when he shuts them down and you’ve got to have hitters get on and help him out there,” said Michals, who went three for four with an RBI.

Michals’ double was the Wolfpack’s only extra-base hit as they scratched out runs. They scored one of their third-inning runs on an error, one of two runs on a wild pitch in the fourth and one of two in the seventh on a groundout. Connor Hoover, Taylor Glover and Adam Grice added two hits each for the Wolfpack.

Defensively, Wolfpack second baseman Nick Sandlin helped Sasser by starting two double plays in the first three innings before the shortstop Hoover took over. First, he made a diving stop on a ground ball up the middle to force a runner at second for the final out in the fifth inning. In the sixth with the bases-loaded and one out, he made a nice leaping grab of a liner for the second out.

“Golly, Hoover was exceptional on defense, he was really good,” said Wolfpack head coach Chris Wilkins. “Sandlin made a couple of really, really nice plays at second,” he added.

Hardy, who came on after Sasser walked the first two batters, got out of the inning as he retired the next batter on a liner that was hit hard but right at the left fielder.

“Unfortunately some of the ones we hit hard were right at people tonight,” Beale said.

Wilkins has always liked the makeup of his team and likes the direction they’re heading.

“We feel like we’ve got a pretty good ball club, they play well together and when you get pitching performances like we’ve gotten, you’re going to have a chance every time out,” Wilkins said.

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