RALEIGH — Justin Manning pitched seven innings of shutout ball, Trey Cobb hit a two-run home run, and the Holly Springs Golden Hawks defeated the Wakefield Wolverines, 7-0.
Cobb's home run broke open a scoreless tie in the fourth inning after Wes Conover reached base on a walk. Cobb drove the ball just over the left field fence.
"(The pitch) was a little inside and I thought I popped it up, but the ball carried," Cobb said.
The Hawks (22-2) will go on to the fourth round of the 4-A playoffs and face Leesville Road, which defeated East Chapel Hill, 5-2 Friday night. That game will be on Tuesday.
Holly Springs was able to put pressure on Wolverines' pitcher Evan Braband early, but wasn't able to capitalize. With two outs in the first inning, Braband walked Manning and Carlos Rodon before striking out Conover.
"(Braband) did a good job of keeping us off-balanced and getting good hitters out," said Hawks coach Rod Whitesell.
It didn't take the Wolverines (19-7) long to respond. In the bottom of the first, Nick Trevino was hit by a pitch, then Courtney Crews singled with one out. But the Wolverines failed to get a runner home from scoring position when Will Butler got on by way of a fielder's choice and Vance Vizcaino grounded out to the pitcher.
The Wolverines left seven runners on base.
"I'm proud of our guys," Whitesell said. "They really competed, and when we struggled early, we stuck with the plan and got the job done."
Manning and Braband had a pitching duel going until Cobb's home run. Then, the Wolverines' bullpen dug their team too big of a hole to climb out from. Holly Springs sent nine men to the plate in the seventh inning, with five coming around to score.
"I feel like we have some good hitters," Whitesell said. "Sometimes hitting is contagious."