With the completion of baseball Tuesday, the Greenbrier High School Wolfpack found themselves at the top once more.
With their 9-1 win over Evans, Greenbrier accomplished the first of its season goals: clinching first place in Region 2A-AAAAA, which ensures home-field advantage throughout the region tournament that starts April 19.
The Wolfpack (11-3, 7-1 region) swept the season series with Evans, Grovetown and Lakeside.
“First place is definitely a big deal; it’s what you want when you start out the season,” said senior Clint Hardy, who had two hits.
Despite the loss, the Knights (10-5, 4-4) clinched second place by virtue of Grovetown’s 6-0 win over Lakeside Tuesday night. The Knights will open the region series at home as well. Lakeside and Grovetown finished third and fourth in the subregion, respectively, and will travel to open the tournament.
“Being able to do it against Evans, which is a very good ball club and well coached, and to hit the ball the way we did, was just a good thing,” said Wolfpack head coach Chris Wilkins. “I’m super proud of the kids. They played hard.”
The Wolfpack got to starter Garrett Wilkinson (4-1) for 12 hits. Wilkinson was hurt by his defense, which committed five errors in the first three innings, helping the Wolfpack get their first four runs.
Knights head coach Ricky Beale challenged his team to finish the season strong after the game.
“You ask a simple question,” said Beale. “As a team how do we respond to this? Do we let this determine our season? Does this define us? Or do we keep battling and try to make things happen and see what happens down the road?”
Wolfpack starter Austin Robinson shut down the Knights, scattering seven singles, striking out five and walking one.
The Knights scratched out a run in the fifth inning as Brice Harrison led off with a double, Kelvin McCladdie singled and Matt Anderson drove in Harrison with a single one out later.
The Wolfpack scored twice in the first, twice in the third and once in the fourth. They left no doubt with a four-run sixth, with Taylor Glover driving in two of his three RBI with a triple. Chris Michals and Adam Sasser helped pace the offense with two hits and an RBI apiece.
In the seventh Robinson walked the first batter, got a strikeout, then ended the game, starting a 1-6-3 double play. He was impressed with the defensive effort.
“They made all the plays tonight,” Robinson said.
Shortstop Connor Hoover made the play of the night. With two outs in the sixth inning, he slid and backhanded a grounder destined for left field and flipped it to second baseman Nick Sandlin for the force out.