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Baseball: No. 9 South Forsyth outlasts No. 5 Denmark in 28-run affair

Current Region 6-7A Standings

1. Denmark, 13-4 [Clinched region championship]

2. South Forsyth, 11-6

3. Lambert, 11-7

4. North Forsyth, 9-8

5. West Forsyth, 8-9

6. Forsyth Central, 5-12

7. Gainesville, 3-14

By Colin Hubbard

For the Forsyth County News

Wednesday night was a marathon. 

With South Forsyth needing a win over Denmark to keep hope alive for a potential No. 2 seed in Region 6-7A, which would secure a home playoff series in the first round of the playoffs, the Danes didn’t make it easy on the War Eagles. 

South never trailed, but they were forced to stave off several Denmark rallies, ultimately holding on to win 15-13 after extinguishing yet another rally in the seventh inning.

The Danes managed to trim the War Eagles’ lead to one run on four separate occasions, 2-1 in the second, 8-7 in the third, 9-8 in the fourth and 12-11 in the sixth, but were never able to tie or take a lead at any point in the game. 

“Just relentless,” South head coach Russ Bayer said. “That was the biggest thing. We came through for the first time in a while. When we hung a spot on the board, they fought right back. But we didn’t let up. We kept swinging the bats. Anytime you can bang out 14 hits against the arms they threw at us, that’s a great sign of things to come. Getting ready to go into the playoffs, that’s exactly what we wanted to see tonight.” 

Eight of the nine batters for the War Eagles registered at least one hit. Of their 15 runs scored, eight came against Denmark ace Francesco Capocci, who was chased early. 

Capocci lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed eight runs on five hits. He also walked two and hit a batter before being replaced on the mound by Dylan Trova. 

Brennan Hudson gave South an early 2-0 lead when he launched a two-run home run to right field off of Capocci. Leading 2-1, South tacked on six more runs in the second inning. Alex Urias drove in a pair of runs with a single to left, as did Brooks Bennett to extend their lead to 8-1. 

South starting pitcher Dylan Quintillo got through the first two innings relatively easily but was tagged for six runs in the third despite not all being earned.

The key play in the inning came when South third baseman Bayler Duncan dropped a popup after being run into by his teammate. Instead of an inning-ending popup to Duncan, the Danes scored two on the error and cut South’s lead to 8-7. 

Leading Denmark 9-8 heading into the fifth, South got some much-needed breathing room when Tyler Bayer knocked a two-run single to left. Micheal Sime followed that with a line drive to left that scored another and extended their lead to four runs, 12-8. 

But back came the Danes once again with a three-run inning of their own in the top of the sixth. Landon Armstrong singled to right to score a run before Chris Bradburn singled down the left-field line to score two more. 

Leading 12-11 heading into the bottom half, South scored three more runs, which proved to be enough in the end. After his error at third base earlier in the game, Duncan redeemed himself with a two-run double down the first-base line, and Bennett followed that up with an RBI single to extend the lead back out to four runs, 15-11 heading to the seventh. 

Sime came on to pitch the seventh for South and allowed two runs before getting out of a jam to end the game. 

South's win allows the War Eagles to control their own destiny in clinching the No. 2 seed, which could come Friday night with a win against North Forsyth. 

Denmark’s loss did nothing to change their fate after already clinching the region championship. The Danes will enter the playoffs as a No. 1 seed when the tournament starts next week.