By Weston Walker
For the Forsyth County News
Riding a two-game win streak and a perfect region record, the South Forsyth baseball team traveled to visit West Forsyth on Monday in what turned out to be a game of costly mistakes.
In a low-scoring affair, the War Eagles pulled out a 2-1 victory.
South (19-5, 9-0 Region 5-7A) started the game with a groundout, but Ryan Finegan followed with a walk to be the game’s first man on. Two batters later, Finegan reached third thanks to a single from Cooper Davidson, but was left stranded after Matty Bapst flew out to right field to end the inning.
West (11-15, 2-9 Region 5-7A) starting pitcher Zach Burns escaped the jam, but he didn’t have long to relax. War Eagles starting pitcher Landon Sims needed just seven pitches to retire the Wolverines’ side.
“My fastball was really working tonight,” Sims said. “It was coming out of my hand really easy and had a lot of life to it.”
South was the first beneficiary of the mistakes. Grant Gerberding bunted his way aboard to begin the second inning and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Another passed ball advanced Gerberding to third. Then another brought Gerberding home.
West took advantage of the next mistakes. Ryan Gray led off the bottom of the second with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. After Gray stole third, he darted home on a wild pick-off attempt that went into shallow left field.
Despite tying the game in the bottom of the second, the Wolverines and War Eagles’ both stalled, and the game was ultimately decided by more mistakes.
Ben Ferrer led off the top of the sixth with what should have been a routine groundout, but reached first after a throwing error. Ferrer advanced to second on a groundout from Davidson and scored two batters later.
“The ballgame was won today on two passed balls,” War Eagles head coach Russ Bayer said, “but if those guys weren’t at third base from people moving them over, we would’ve never had the opportunity to score.”
Although the game’s three runs all came down to passed balls, Sims pitched a gem.
The junior Mississippi State commit allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out eight in a complete game.
“Landon did a tremendous job. He pounded the zone, got ahead, and kept his pitch count down,” Bayer said.