State championship series recaps
Nick Wilhite's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh broke a 2-all tie as Buford took Game 1 of the best-of-three Class AAAA series 3-2 over Locust Grove at Buford.
But Locust Grove pitcher Nolan Crisp, normally the Wildcats' Game 3 starter, pitched Locust Grove to a 4-2 win in the nightcap and salvaged a split in the series.
Game 3 will be Monday at 5:55 p.m. at Gerald McQuaig Field in Buford.
In Game 1, Justin Glover stayed undefeated on the season with a complete-game victory. He allowed just four hits, two unearned runs and five strikeouts to outduel Locust Grove ace Ethan Lindow, who took the loss.
Brandon Marsh led the Wolves (32-4), going 3 for 4 at the plate, while Nick Wilhite finished 1 for 3 with a pair of RBIs.
Will Dyer went 1 for 3 with a pair of RBIs to lead Locust Grove.
In Game 2, Locust Grove had just five hits but scored a run in the third first inning and two more in the third to grab an early 3-0 lead.
Clay Shearouse led Locust Grove's offense, going 2 for 3 with a solo homer in the second inning. Joah Curry finished 2 for 2.
Brandon Marsh went 3 for 4 with a solo homer in Game 2 and finished 6 for 8 in the series.
“The message, really, between games was we’ve been here before,” Locust Grove coach Stephen Phillips told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “We’ve had our backs against the wall three times. … So, it was just reassurance (that) we’ve been there. … These guys just don’t want it to end. They keep fighting until the end.”
Sam Pritchard returned for Lovett after throwing 11 innings in a victory over Greater Atlanta Christian in the semifinals earlier this week.
Pritchard hand-cuffed the Wolves, allowing just two runs on six hits to help the Lions take a 1-0 lead in the Class AA series against Wesleyan on Saturday with a 4-2 victory.
The two teams played only one game in the best-of-three series due to Wesleyan's graduation on Saturday.
Game 2 will be Monday at 4:30 p.m. with a third game, if needed, to follow. Lovett is seeking its first title since 2013, while Wesleyan is seeking its second straight.
Wesleyan did little offensively against the crafty pitcher.
“You don’t have to throw hard to be an effective pitcher,” Wesleyan coach Brian Krehmeyer told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “This guy wasn’t breaking any speed records but he sure was effective. You can see how easily he frustrates hitters.”
Aaron Schunk smashed a leadoff homer to give the Lions (24-11-1) a 1-0 lead, one they would never relinquish. Lovett scored another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a commanding 4-0 advantage before Wesleyan scored a run each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Brady Tindall and John Staton each went 2 for 4 to lead the Lovett offense.
Jake McCleskey went 2 for 3 with a double for the Wolves (28-10). John Morris finished 1 for 3 with a solo homer.