Forsyth Central hit a bump in the road Monday night, but bounced back against the same opponent with a decisive 10-2 victory over Sprayberry on Wednesday at home.
Central (7-3, 4-1) jumped on the Yellow Jackets (3-7, 1-4) early, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Bulldogs added two more runs in the second off a Robbie Repasz two-run home run, while adding one run in the bottom of the fifth and three more in their last at-bat.
Repasz, Parker Biederer and Pierce Nufer each scored two runs, while Taylor and Hunter Bauman added a run, a piece, and Connor Tinkle crossed the plate on Repasz' home run blast.
Head coach Kevin McCollum was happy to see his team bounce back after an underwhelming start to the week, when the Bulldogs fell 4-3 in Marietta.
“We came out swinging the bats pretty good until we got six runs and changed our approach a little bit, so we're still looking to make sure we always have a consistent, mature approach throughout the game,” McCollum said. “That's what we've been working on in practice and if we can get to doing that we're going to be tough to beat.”
Starting pitcher Ethan Hankins lasted 5 1/3 innings, striking out six batters against five hits and two walks, while Alex Andrew entered and did not allow a hit as he finished the contest on the mound. McCollum has continued to like what he sees from the sophomore, committed to play at Vanderbilt.
“I thought Ethan threw pretty good,” Central head coach Kevin McCollum said. “He threw a lot of strikes, kept us right in it, and he's going to get better for us each time he goes out.”
Taylor Bauman had the game's first RBI in the bottom of the first, bringing home Repasz, before Biederer came home off a wild throw. Hunter Bauman then scored off an error and Nufer came home on a Parker Morrison single.
Tinkle brought home Nufer in the bottom of the fifth with one of his three hits (3-for-4). In the final frame, pinch-hitter Ryu Head brought home Tinkle with a single.
Sprayberry opened the scoring as Tylor Tolve scored off a fielder's choice in the top of the first, while the Yellow Jackets' only other run came when Zack Starker singled home Harrison Wade in the top of the fourth.
Wade also started on the mound for Sprayberry, lasting just two innings before relief.
The game as also Military Appreciation Night, as many war veterans were in attendance.
“As a booster club we try to come up with different nights to get people out to the ballpark, and tonight was a great opportunity to honor those who have served our country,” McCollum said.
The veterans included Kenneth Bohan (World War II), Virgil Grovenberg (Korean War), Donald Hughes (Vietnam), Richard Knight (Vietnam), Lyndon Lang (Vietnam) and Jacob Bollinger (current service in the U.S. Army).