After almost a week off for spring break, the Greenbrier High School baseball team didn’t give head coach Chris Wilkins what he was looking for, especially with the Region 2-AAAAA playoffs starting Thursday.
Friday night, the Wolfpack spotted the North Augusta Yellow Jackets eight runs in the first three innings, came back to lead 9-8 but ended up on the short end of the 10-9 decision.
“We were bad as a team,” said Wilkins. “We didn’t field the bunts, we botched two bunt coverages, we botched a couple of double plays, we did a very poor job at the plate, our plate discipline was not good. It’s just a laundry list of just not a very good night for us.”
The Wolfpack rebounded Saturday with a 5-0 shutout of Aiken to finish the regular season with a 14-4 record. They begin the Region 2-AAAAA playoffs as a No. 1 seed, playing host to No. 4 seed Warner Robins in a doubleheader Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. An “if” game would be played at Greenbrier Friday at 4 p.m.
Greenbrier senior Austin Robinson was roughed up quickly in what was a rare bad outing. He left with one out in the third inning after allowing eight runs on seven hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Yellow Jackets (9-11) got things going right off the bat with two singles and a fielder’s choice. That set the stage for cleanup hitter Cody Turner, who drilled a 2-1 pitch from Robinson over the 360 sign in centerfield for a grand slam and a 4-0 lead.
The bottom of the first wasn’t much better as starting shortstop Connor Hoover fouled a ball off his foot and came out of the game after his at-bat and was replaced by freshman Ty Snipes. Wilkins also got freshman Conner Hogan in the game, taking over for Robinson in the third inning.
“It was good to get him (Hogan) out there, see what he can do, and we’ve done that with a few guys,” said Wilkins. “With Hoover going down, we had a freshman at shortstop. I thought he did a very good job, came up with a big hit there in the sixth that I thought really would have sparked us.”
Snipes finished with two hits and two RBI in three trips to the plate.
Trailing 8-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the Wolfpack got back into the game with four runs. They added three in the fourth and took a 9-8 lead in the fifth when Adam Grice singled home Chris Michals and Knox Marchman, who walked and singled, respectively.
Grice paced the Wolfpack, going three for four with two RBI.
Hogan retired the side in the third and fourth on double play ground balls and turned it over to Adam Sasser, who worked a scoreless fifth. The wheels came off for Sasser in the sixth, walking the bases loaded before Grice took over on the mound. Grice got a bouncer to the right side, but the throw to first to complete a double play was wild and the tie and go-ahead runs scored.
In other Region 2-AAAAA playoffs beginning Thursday, Evans will play host to Jones County in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. with an “if” game Friday at 6 p.m.