Greenbrier baseball coach Ed Williams knows how valuable senior leadership can be during postseason play.
In last Friday's Class AAAA state tournament second-round doubleheader, the rest of the Wolfpack learned first-hand just how crucial it is.
The veteran leadership came, once again, from senior Cal Morris.
"Cal had a great day at the plate for us," Williams said. "It's nice to have a senior pick you up when you're not swinging the bats."
While the rest of the Wolfpack struggled at the plate in game one against second-round opponent Bainbridge on Friday, Morris came through when the team needed him most.
The senior stepped to the plate with one out in the final inning of a tie game. Morris broke the tie with a home run over the right-field fence that brought the Wolfpack fans to their feet at the crack of the bat. The shot ended the first game and gave starting pitcher Nolan Belcher just enough run support for the win.
"We were trying to get somebody on base," Belcher said of the situation leading up to Morris' home run. "I wasn't thinking home run, but I didn't want to go into extra innings."
Belcher, who improved to 9-0 with the win, turned in his most dominant performance of the season. The sophomore struck out 18 of the 22 batters he faced. After a walk and a stolen base from Bainbridge first baseman Jon Sirmons in the sixth inning, Belcher gave up his only hit of the game to Darren Heard two batters later to score Sirmons. Belcher responded by picking off Heard at first base one pitch later to end the inning.
The momentum from Belcher's pitching and Morris' hitting carried over to the second game when Greenbrier completed the sweep with a 14-7 win. Morris homered again in the second game along with Belcher, Rich Poythress, Chris Johnson and Michael Hester.
The sweep gave Greenbrier an extra day of rest to prepare for its second-round series against the two seed from Region 4-AAAA, Whitewater.
"There are no easy games left," Williams said. "In the state tournament, if you have one bad day you're going home."
The Wolfpack will be at home Wednesday when Whitewater comes for a doubleheader. The Wildcats will make the trip from Fayetteville, Ga., after defeating last season's state champions Henry County in a 2-0 sweep.
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