Greenbrier's march to a potential state championship repeat will continue this week into the Class AAAA state tournament quarterfinals round.
The Wolfpack (25-4) have yet to lose a home game this season, and will look to keep that streak alive when Class AAAA No. 7 Woodland comes to town for a best-of-three series starting Tuesday.
"From here on out, we know that every team is capable of winning the title," Greenbrier baseball coach Rodney Holder said. "You don't look ahead at all."
Greenbrier, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA, cruised through the first two rounds of the state tournament with flawless pitching and an increased offensive showcase. The Wolfpack scored 24 runs in a two-game sweep over visiting Thomas County Central last week.
In four state tournament games, Greenbrier's offense has totalled 40 runs.
"As a team, when we hit like that it gives us even more confidence and more momentum," Greenbrier junior Pat McGowan said. "We know we have to win two games, and we don't want to get in a situation where the season might end. That's why we've been hitting the ball a lot better lately."
In the second-round sweep over Thomas County Central, it was the familiar faces who led the offensive surge for the Wolfpack. Senior Jeff Rowland went five-for-seven with two RBIs in the series. Fellow senior Brandon Cumpton went three-for-three with an RBI and reached base on all seven of his at-bats.
The bottom of the lineup also contributed to the hit parade. First baseman Nick Page hit his first home run of the year in Game 2, while senior Damien Lucree kept up his hot postseason hitting with a three-for-six day at the plate and two RBIs.
Starting second baseman Ryan Cato also got in on the action with five RBIs in the two games against Thomas County Central.
"Baseball is exciting as it is, but in the postseason it makes it that much better," he said. "Plus, it feels a lot better when you're beating good teams."
Cumpton and junior Nolan Belcher have done their part on the mound. The aces threw one-hitters against Thomas County Central and enter the state quarterfinals round with a combined record of 15-1.
Woodland, who will make the 180-mile trip to Greenbrier from Cartersville, Ga., entered the state tournament as the No. 2 seed from Region 5-AAAA. The Wildcats will bring a 26-4 record to Greenbrier after sweeping No. 1 seed Northwest Whitfield 11-0, 5-1 in the tournament's second round last week.
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