Greenbrier quickly ended any speculation Wednesday about how it would deal with second-round opponent Jones County.
The Wolfpack heard before the Class AAAA baseball playoff series that the Greyhounds swung the bats well, and that Jones had won its last 12 games entering the series.
Greenbrier needed just three innings to end Game 1 with a 15-0 win. The second game went the full seven innings, and the Wolfpack won 10-3 to complete the sweep.
Wolfpack coach Rodney Holder said his team was fired up before the series by what they perceived as a slight from Jones County in the media and Internet message boards.
"They challenged us," Holder said. "They wanted our pitching. I don't think there's any doubt they got it."
The Greyhounds saw Wolfpack pitcher Nolan Belcher in the first game and struck out eight times. Only two Greyhounds runners reached base during Game 1.
Senior pitcher Pat McGowan started Game 2 and held the Greyhounds to three runs before Belcher entered in the fifth inning to finish.
Belcher threw fewer than 50 pitches in Game 1, and Holder said he's been pleased with the pitching routine to this point.
Greyhounds coach Barry Veal said his team might have conceded the first game as soon as it saw Belcher take the mound.
"I hate to say it, but I think our guys came out with Belcher throwing and didn't believe we could win that game," Veal said.
It didn't help that the Wolfpack batters were locked in on Greyhounds starter Ken Nesbitt, who entered the game undefeated. The Wolfpack's scouting report on Nesbitt included a fastball and curve, and they took a steady diet of them during batting practice leading to the series.
Greenbrier belted four home runs during the two games against Jones County. Catcher Adam King launched one in each game, and right fielder Nick Richards' two-run shot ended Game 1.
In four playoff games, all wins, the Wolfpack have outscored their opponents 49-5.
The Greyhounds had won 19 of their last 20 games.
Veal tried to motivate his players between games, reminding them they'd won 12 consecutive games before Wednesday, and that winning two more would be nothing.
But the Greyhounds struggled to find a rhythm, and went down in order five of the seven innings in the second game.
"Our guys are disappointed," Veal said. "I didn't do a good enough job of getting these guys ready."
Greenbrier will take on the winner of the Rome-Loganville series on Tuesday.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.