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Baseball: Robbins fans 17 as Central forces Game 3 with Grayson
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Forsyth Central second baseman Carson Elias turns a 6-4-3 double play Tuesday during the Bulldogs' 2-0 loss in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Grayson. Central won the nightcap 1-0 to force a decisive Game 3. - photo by David Roberts

By Noah Rubin 

For the Forsyth County News

Forsyth Central split the first two games of a three-game series with Grayson on Tuesday, falling 2-0 in Game 1 and winning 1-0 in the nightcap.

Central pitcher Will Robbins was dominant in Game 2, pitching a complete-game shutout and striking out 17 batters.

“I was feeling all my pitches tonight,” Robbins said. “Whenever I have all my stuff, the game just comes more fluid. I’m able to throw all my pitches for strikes. It just seems more effective, and we get the job done easier.”

Robbins allowed only four baserunners in Game 2 on three hits and one walk.

DeYon Cannon, Anthony Polanco and Blane Holliday accounted for the Rams on hits off the Georgia Southern signee.

“Will’s thrown well all year,” Central coach Kevin McCollum said. “We’ve been going with him Game 2, so if we had a chance to close somebody out, that’s our guy on the mound. And if we had to win to stay alive, he’s the guy to have on the mound, and he did his job tonight.”

Central scored only one run in the top of the second, when Stevie Lyons’ ground ball was botched by Grady Bryant and allowed Tyler Smith to score.

With Robbins dealing, the run turned out to be enough for Central to force a Game 3.

“It comes down to one game tomorrow,” McCollum said. “We didn’t swing it as well as I’d like to see today, and we had some opportunities and didn’t capitalize. They pitched well and kept us off-balance, and hopefully we can swing it a little bit better tomorrow.”

Tyler Gray turned in a complete-game shutout of his own in Game 1, scattering three hits and striking out five batters across seven innings. Gray needed only 87 pitches to get through the outing.

Bryant and Cannon each went 2-for-3 in the win, as Bryant’s RBI single plated Cannon and capped a two-run third inning for the Rams.

One thing that stood out about Forsyth Central’s team was that every player had dyed their hair blonde, which Robbins said was a team decision earlier this season.

“The cosmetology program at the school hooked us up and dyed all of our heads,” Robbins said. “I think it looks pretty cool when we all show up as a team. Just a little bonding we have.”

While it doesn’t directly affect the team's play on the field, it shows the Bulldogs' best attribute: their chemistry.

“It just shows that we’re a really tight knit group, and we’re all in it together,” Robbins said. “That’s the best part our team. Everyone’s best friends as teammates. We always pick each other up.”

Central will look to use that togetherness to their advantage as they host Grayson for a third time at 6 p.m. Wednesday.