There was little doubt what was coming next after Greenbrier senior Kevin D'Antignac hit a home run to give the Wolfpack breathing room Wednesday.
Nolan Belcher, the Wolfpack lefty in the twilight of a standout high school career, told coach Rodney Holder he wanted the ball.
No surprise there.
The surprise came later, after Belcher had taken the mound to a rousing ovation from the home crowd, who was certain Belcher would close out Loganville in Game 2 and send the Wolfpack to the semifinals.
The Red Devils dugout fell silent as players stood and watched Belcher warm up.
"Our hitters were a little down," Loganville pitcher Casey Shiver said after the Red Devils took the final two games of the quarterfinal series 12-11, 10-0 . "But the fight in Loganville is going to get it done."
The Red Devils were told to shorten up and put the ball in play.
They failed to score on Belcher in the fourth, but the fifth went like this: walk, base hit, base hit, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly. Loganville scored two runs to tie the game.
The go-ahead run was Justin Pitts, the No. 9 hitter in the Red Devils' order. He reached on a fly ball that fell behind Wolfpack right fielder T.D. Davis, who stumbled on his way back to the ball.
Red Devils leadoff man Blake McCullers was intentionally walked. And Pitts scored on a ground ball to first.
Red Devils junior Shiver was the star Wednesday. He held the Wolfpack scoreless during the final 8 innings of the series, including pitching all seven innings of the deciding third game, a mercy-rule shortened 10-0 Red Devils win.
"We've done this to plenty of teams over the years," Wolfpack senior Ryan Cato said. "It (stinks) being on the other side of it."
After Loganville was done celebrating its triumph over the defending state champions, Greenbrier's seniors stood in the infield with parents and teammates and looked off toward the scoreboard in right field.
Holder said afterward that he thought this was the winningest senior class in Greenbrier's 12-year history, which includes five state titles.
Nearly all the seniors had something to contribute Wednesday.
Senior Pat McGowan reached safely all six at-bats during the final two games. He finished the day 4-for-4 with 3 RBI.
Second baseman Cato made a diving stop and flip to shortstop Chase Huffman to defuse a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning of Game 2.
Catcher Adam King cut down a runner at first and a runner at third during his final high school game.
Belcher had a tough day, losing Game 2 and going hitless his final two games. Arguably the most accomplished pitcher in Greenbrier's history received fitting recognition from the opponents who ended his career.
"He's a great pitcher," Shiver said. "He's going on to bigger and better things."
Said Loganville coach Jeff Seagers: "Nolan Belcher is the greatest competitive pitcher I've seen in 12 years."
As Belcher stood on the mound after the game, more than one Loganville player walked out to offer a word. Greenbrier's players later sat in their dugout and said little. Belcher sat in a metal folding chair flipping a baseball in the air with his left hand.
"You know your kids, you love them, you trust them," Holder said. "You can't say enough about him and those seniors."
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