When you’ve got three strong arms, you’ve got a chance to go far in the playoffs.
This was one fan’s message after junior Parker Morrison treated the Forsyth Central crowd to a dominating pitching performance Saturday afternoon advancing the Bulldogs to the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs with a 10-0 win over Salem in Game 3 of the team’s series.
“I located all my pitches pretty well today,” Morrison said. “It’s a good team win overall.”
Morrison (CG, 2 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 BB) followed up two fine pitching efforts by teammates Reed Clark and Logan Howard the night before with one of his own.
“Parker did a great job throwing strikes, limited [Salem] on base, which they are very dangerous on the bases,” Central coach Kevin McCollum said.
Morrison wasn’t out there all by himself, however, as some of his teammates made a number of great plays in the field. Junior outfielder Robbie Repasz made the defensive play of the game in the fourth inning when he robbed Salem’s Kevin Barham of a hit by laying out to catch a fly ball deep in left field.
Repasz (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 SB) was able to complement his highlight reel catch with a strong day at the plate. In the second inning, Repasz led off with a single, stole second and, while attempting to steal third, was able to reach home on an errant throw by Salem’s catcher over the third baseman’s head.
The Bulldogs chased yet another Salem pitcher after only three innings by building a 4-0 lead. That lead doubled in the fourth as, just like in Game 2, all nine batters in the rotation had an at-bat.
“That might have been one of the first times all year that we put all three parts together,” McCollum said. “We hit the ball well, scored in every inning except one.”
Junior shortstop Taylor Bauman had the only home run of the three game series in the fourth inning. Bauman rocked the first pitch he saw deep to left field scoring himself and senior Jacob Phillips (2-for-3), who had reached base with a single on the pitch before.
Central built an 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Bulldogs only needed three more outs in the top of the seventh to eliminate Salem and move on in the state playoffs. Repasz didn’t even let it get that far.
With his fourth at-bat, Repasz hit a shot to center field that bounced past the outfielder and to the wall. Two runs scored and the mercy rule was put into effect. 10-0 Central was the final.
Central’s next game is Wednesday night at home against Jones County.
“[Coach] said get this game first,” Morrison said. “Get this game out of the way and get next week tomorrow.”