Whiteville rallies with 5 runs in 7th to win State Championship
Whiteville rallies with 5 runs in 7th to win State Championship (Source: NCHSAA)
RALEIGH, N.C. – Facing a four-run deficit in their final at bat, the Whiteville Wolfpack went to work, sending nine men to the plate before scoring the game-winning fifth run of the inning on a Jake Harwood single to right field. The Wolfpack stunned Murphy 9-8 to take game two and the 1A State Championship series by a 2-0 count to claim the school’s eighth championship.
The Wolfpack got off to a good start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead posting three runs in the second inning. Dylan Lawson opened the inning with a single, coming around to score on a one-out RBI double by Will Hinson. Dylon Hamilton drew a one-out walk to follow that. Then Brooks Baldwin slashed a triple to right, scoring both runners.
Baldwin finished the game a homer short of the cycle. He was 3 for 5 in the game with five runs batted in, including a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh rally. He also doubled home a run to tie the game in the sixth, scoring Earl Grubbs on the play, tying the game at 4.
Murphy scrapped and clawed the whole game. The Bulldogs tied the game with three in the fourth inning, turning a walk, a hit-batsman, a Royce Peterson double and a Caleb Irwin single into three runs.
The Bulldogs took the lead for the first time in the series in the sixth. With the game tied at three, Joey Curry drew a leadoff walk, making his way around the bases, eventually scoring on a two-out single by Jacob Bates.
Murphy exploded for four runs in the top of the seventh inning, as the first two men of the inning reached, Colton Posey on a hit by pitch and Luke Garrett on a double. Jeremiah Clark broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right scoring Posey. Then, Joey Curry sent Garrett scrambling home with an RBI-single. Irwin followed that with a two-out RBI single of his own, plating Curry. Finally, Jacob Bates singled to right scoring Irwin, stretching out their lead to 8-4, needing just three outs to force a decisive game 3 in the series.
Mackenzie Gore was named the series MVP. He homered and was the winning pitcher in game one, striking out 13 on his night without allowing a run on two hits. He was 1 for 3 in game two, scoring a run in the decisive seventh inning after reaching on a fielding error to lead off the inning.