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Baseball: Central tops North with help from timely hits

By Weston Walker

For the Forsyth County News

The Forsyth Central baseball team traveled to face North Forsyth on Friday night in what turned out to be a game of timely hitting, in which the Bulldogs prevailed by a 7-3 margin.

The Raiders got on the board first, scoring a run in the bottom of the second inning. After an error helped Carter Mullikin reach base, he stole second and found himself in scoring position. Two batters later, Clayton Bardall’s sacrifice fly to left allowed Mullikin to tag and score. Caelan Thomas struck out looking to end the inning, but the Raiders went into the top of the third with a 1-0 lead.

After a pair of singles, North scored one more run in the home half of the third, but the Bulldogs’ bats began to wake up.

Central catcher Greg Wozniak reached base to begin the fourth. Jacob Holton also reached base on a fielder’s choice, and Ethan Hankins then reached base on another error by the Raiders.

That error proved to be costly, as in the very next at-bat, Bradlee Brooks cranked a double to the warning track, and two Bulldogs came in to score. Brooks moved ahead to third base on a single from Jonathan Bergmoser, and he later scored on a wild pitch.

 “Credit to these guys: We had to get those key hits, and we got them done,” Bulldogs acting head coach Dustin Canon said. “These kids have been playing hard, and we’ve been playing better each and every series. We’re just taking it one pitch at a time, trying to compete every pitch.”

North scored a single run in the bottom half of the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. Central’s Greg Tasos started the next inning off by flying out to right field, but Michael Miller followed by drawing a walk. Chase Hillenbrand then reached on an error, and Parker Jones’ two-RBI double gave the Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.

Wozniak followed Jones’ double with a home run over the right center field wall. In a matter of moments, a tie ballgame became a four-run advantage in favor of Central.  

“(Wozniak) has some power,” Canon said. “He’s been really coming on strong lately, and really staying focused.”

Davis Smith came in to replace starter Bryan Brock in the fourth, and despite only having one strikeout, Smith finished with one run allowed on one hit in four innings.

“Davis has been a key part of our team the last two years,” Canon said. “He’s just solid, week in and week out.