State playoff baseball will continue today for the Greenbrier baseball team.
A two-game sweep over Whitewater on Friday came in the form of a 5-1 win and an 11-0 blowout. The victories in the Class AAAA state tournament first round advanced Greenbrier to the state tournament second round to face Thomas County Central.
The two-game series will begin today at 4 p.m. at Greenbrier.
"The way we've been looking at it is each series is a new season," Greenbrier senior catcher Russ Winter said. "You have to win two games each season then move on."
Greenbrier baseball fans hope the next new season will look similar to the last one. In the first round series, the Wolfpack showcased their usual dominant pitching but also added an increased offensive threat.
Thirteen Greenbrier batters recorded hits in the double-header wins. The mercy-rule that shortened Game 2 prompted memories of last year's power-packed state championship team.
"Last year we had games like that where (Chris) Fud (Johnson) and Rich (Poythress) were hitting home runs all over the place. They were freaks," Greenbrier senior Damien Lucree said. "This year it's been more line drives, playing small ball, bunts and scrapping. Everybody's working."
Lucree led the Greenbrier hitting with a 3-for-3 day at the plate in Game 2 on Friday with two RBI. Along with hits from every Wolfpack starter, pinch hitters Dalton Gress and Ross Scott also recorded hits.
Senior Brandon Cumpton and junior Nolan Belcher backed up the offense with two complete-game wins on the mound. Belcher struck out 12 of the 20 batters he faced in Game 2.
"That's pretty strong," Greenbrier baseball coach Rodney Holder said of Belcher's effort. "Him and Brandon are doing their job. They give us a chance to win."
Thomas County Central (21-8) knocked off Forest Park in round one with a 21-1 win in game 2 and a 6-5 win in game 3 last weekend. The visiting Yellow Jackets will make a five-hour drive from Thomasville, Ga. on Wednesday.
Greenbrier senior Freddie Jones, primarily a pinch runner for the Wolfpack baseball team, was injured on a play at the plate in Game 1 of the Class AAAA state tournament first round series. Jones was helped off the field and X-rays later revealed a broken leg, according to Greenbrier baseball coach Rodney Holder.
"It's amazing because he stayed in the dugout for three or four more innings cheering on his teammates before he finally went to the hospital," Holder said.
Jones will be out for the rest of the season.
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