West Forsyth won a pitchers’ duel against South Forsyth, 2-1, on Wednesday night.
South (14-11, 5-6 in Region 5-7A) got the first run of the night in the top of the second inning. Matty Bapst grounded into what could’ve been an inning-ending double play, but Bryar Hawkins’ throw to first went wide, allowing Grant Gerberding to score, putting the War Eagles up 1-0.
But West (13-12, 6-5) answered in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Bowen Bock roped a double over the left fielder’s head that one-hopped the wall, allowing Matthew Stewart to score, tying the game at 1-apiece.
Then the teams’ two pitchers settled in. Hank Flood got the win for the Wolverines, pitching seven innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run. He also struck out seven and walked one.
“I started out a little rough,” Flood said. “But I felt like I got in a groove. And once I got in the groove, I got some confidence going. I felt like I got all my pitches working, and I felt really strong on the mound. I felt like I could throw a strike with any pitch at any time.”
“The performance of the night was Hank Flood,” West head coach Mike Pruitt said. “Didn’t have it early and I challenged him in the third inning to find his fastball. Because that’s what he lives on, is his fastball. When his fastball is good, everything else is even better.”
Cooper Davidson wasn’t too shabby for the War Eagles. He also pitched a complete game, going six innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out four and walking two.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Bock struck again. This time he ripped a double into the left-center field gap, allowing Stewart to score again, giving West a 2-1 lead late. Bock finished the game going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.
“Different hero today,” Pruitt said. “… He hasn’t been in the lineup in a couple days, but he came up huge today for us.”
With four games remaining in the regular season, this win puts West at 6-5 in the region, one game ahead of South, and tied with Central for third place.
“I think this is huge,” Flood said. “We need to get on a strong roll right here towards the end of region play, and I think this helps kick start it. And we need to keep moving in this direction.”