South Granville comes alive, ties 2-A baseball series
Posted June 5, 2016
Burlington, N.C. — The South Granville Viking baseball team rebounded from a disastrous Game 1 to tie the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A baseball state championship series Sunday afternoon, defeating the East Rutherford Cavaliers 9-3.
The Vikings, looking to repeat as 2-A state champions, will face the Cavaliers in a winner-take-all third game Sunday afternoon at 3:45.
South Granville scored nine runs on 18 hits in Game 2, including home runs from Holden Laws and Justin Bullock. The game was a return to form for the Vikings, who fell in the first game of the series, 8-0.
Sunday's game was picked up in the bottom of the first inning after weather delays forced a postponement Saturday evening. During the Saturday portion of the game, South Granville jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Justin Brown singled to score Bullock, and Tucker Britt singled with the bases loaded to bring in two more runs.
East Rutherford loaded the bases in the bottom of the first Saturday night before the game was called. Picking up in the same situation, Matt Miller's RBI groundout gave the Cavaliers one score before Laws picked up his first of ten strikeouts on the day to end the inning.
Bullock doubled and Austin Bailey singled to start the second inning, and Brown's RBI-double scored both runs to give South Granville a 5-1 lead. Spencer Shifflett singled later in the inning to add an additional run for the Vikings.
The Cavaliers did the rest of their damage in the bottom of the second, where Adam Barnette singled, stole second base and came home on Nick Strickland's double. A wild pitch brought Strickland home later in the inning to get East Rutherford within 6-3.
Laws hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to give South Granville an 8-3 lead. Leading off the seventh inning, Bullock hit a solo home run over the left-field wall.
Kendall McGowan started the game on the mound for East Rutherford. Barnette later entered the game, but left after a ball came off Tucker Brown's bat and hit him in the shin. Storm Mace closed out the game for the Cavaliers, finishing with two strikeouts.
A win in Game 3 Sunday would give South Granville its second state championship in program history. East Rutherford is seeking its sixth title after winning 2-A championships in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2010.
Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT for updates from Game 3