In the bottom of the fifth inning, Forsyth Central exploded and poured in eight runs, drawing separation to defeat West Forsyth, 9-4, Friday night at home.
Despite both teams struggling to put runs on the board, Central’s Alex Hernandez and West's Conner Williams were in a pitching battle, as they were delivering strike after strike on the mound.
It was a low-scoring affair in the battle of two of Forsyth’s teams through the first three innings.
The top of the fourth inning was where the scoring saga started.
Wolverines junior Riley Poppe collected a base hit fielded by Central left outfielder Cam Yeager. Then Braylan Bull got the first double of the night with a fly ball that hit the fence.
Sean Totten was close to walking due to a 3-0 count but ended up singling on a line-drive to center. Central’s outfielders couldn’t get the ball in on time, as Poppe and Jackson Moore reached home plate.
After Hernandez gave up his second walk of the game to Talan Born, Central came together on the mound to discuss how to slow down the Wolverines.
Hernandez came back and struck out West Forsyth’s Blake Pearson to end the inning. The Bulldogs junior then collected his first hit with a solo home run to put the Bulldogs on the board.
Soon after that, the Bulldogs had runners on the corners in Josh Gibbs and Braden Wudi, but a pop-out by Jake Walther closed the inning.
The Wolverines had the bases loaded with A.J. Fundora drawing a walk, but Hernandez and Central's defense got out of the inning without allowing any runs.
The wind was starting to affect balls in the air, and it came at the right time for the Bulldogs, as Brandon Semple doubled. Semple wound up scoring on an error, tyign the game at 2-2.
It was a tough fifth inning for West Forsyth, with Forsyth Central starting to dominate at the plate. It started with Yeager registering a three-run double.
The Wolverines opted to put Cade Centracchio in relief, but it didn’t stop the series of runs. Wudi and Bryson Kuhn each posted RBI doubles before Semple helped Wudi score with a single.
The outburst gave Central a 9-2 advantage going into the sixth inning.
West Forsyth, on the other hand, was relatively quiet until Poppe gave the visitors something to cheer about when he recorded an RBI double to drive in Destin Coursey. Poppe was then able to score thanks to Fundora's single.
West Forsyth (5-9, 0-2) has a chance to even the series against Forsyth Central (8-4, 2-0) on March 13.
Wednesday's game: Forsyth Central 11, South Forsyth 8
Forsyth Central started off its Region 6-7A slate with a fifth-inning explosion to rally for an 11-8 win Wednesday at South Forsyth.
The War Eagles pulled away early, scoring three runs in the first, one in the second and four in the fourth. The Bulldogs could only counter with single tallies in the first and fourth innings.
Trailing 8-2, Central racked up nine runs in the fifth to turn the game completely around. South was unable to answer back in its final three turns at bat.