North Forsyth trailed by as many as six runs Monday night, but the Raiders decided they weren’t too keen on starting the week off on the wrong end of a blowout.
A seven-run third frame finished a remarkable comeback, and three runs in the bottom of the fourth helped North essentially re-start the contest in a tight 11-10 victory against South Forsyth at Coal Mountain.
North’s Griffin Caracillo put the finishing touches on the Region 6-AAAAAA victory when his double in the bottom of the fifth inning brought home the eventual game-winning run in Tyler Koch, who reached two batters earlier on a double.
South (6-7, 4-7) battled back in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI double from Michael Strait and a two-RBI single from Justin Graczyk to bring the score to 11-10, but the War Eagles couldn’t erase the damage in the final inning thanks to strong closeout work from Andrew Grogan, who retired the final three batters.
South coach Russ Bayer had been positive about his team’s efforts in tough region losses heading into Monday. The War Eagles are now in the midst of a four-game losing streak, but Bayer wasn’t particularly keen of the way his team seemingly surrendered what would have been a momentum-shifting region victory.
“I’ll be honest, I’m not going to talk positive about our team’s late fight,” Bayer said. “When you’re up 7-1 in the third inning you shouldn’t have to be in a situation where you fight back, you should just sustain. A team full of competitors who know how to win don’t hand back games when you’re up six runs. We can pat them on the back for trying to fight back, but it was too little too late.”
Two consecutive walks and a hit-by-pitch filled the bags for North (7-5-1, 5-2) to start the bottom of the third inning. After a flyout RBI from Slaton and another walk, two more runs came home off singles from Max Bening and a flyout from Dakota Chalmers before Matthew Heard hit a three-run homerun to tie the game.
Grogan came home on a passed ball a batter later to give North the lead for the first time.
North coach Jim Cahill simply said “wow” after the contest.
“I’m just proud of our kids for the way they fought back,” Cahill said. “They never quit. We had a better approach at the plate the second time through the lineup. They fought, they competed, and that’s really the type of kids they are.”
“Coach Bayer had his kids ready to go for sure. They really came in here with their cleats on fire,” Cahill said.