FUQUAY-VARINA — It didn’t matter who pitched to Holly Springs’ Brian Fortier on Tuesday night, the ball found the same spot – over the wall.
Fortier’s three home runs – solo, two-run and grand slam – off three different Fuquay-Varina pitchers propelled the Golden Hawks to an 11-8 Tri-9 Conference victory.
“Each time, I was looking for something to drive,” said Fortier, a Davidson recruit. “They were all looking like watermelons. Out of the hand, I saw it right away.”
Coach Rodney Whitesell said he didn’t think any player in Holly Springs history had hit more than one homer in a single game.
“That’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Whitesell said.
It was the first loss of the season for Fuquay-Varina (5-1, 4-1).
The game was destined to be a slugfest after the first inning, where the Hawks (7-1, 5-1) churned out three singles against Fuquay starter Garrett Suggs.
Trey Cobb and Brett Hudspeth each had RBI singles in the inning to take a 2-0 lead. But Fuquay responded with three runs as Brett Daniels hit a two-run homer and D.J. Burt drove in another on a fielder’s choice.
In the second, Holly Springs collected three more hits, eventually scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Sconzo, a wild pitch and Fortier’s first home run – the solo shot – to make it 5-3.
Fuquay scored on an RBI single by Burt in the bottom half but trailed 5-4.
“This was our first major test,” Fuquay coach Milton Senter said. “Some of these guys have never played in a game quite this big before, and they were a bit nervous.”
Holly Springs starter Andy Wantz gave way to Andrew Elwell in the bottom of the fourth, and Fuquay took a 6-5 lead on a wild pitch and an infield throwing error.
Fuquay’s second pitcher of the night, Jordan Bissette, kept the Hawks off the scoreboard until Fortier’s two-run blast in the top of the fifth put the Hawks back on top 7-6.
In the sixth, Fortier capped off his night with a grand slam – set up by two walks and an infield error, all with two outs – off Kevin Cutler that went over the “green monster” in left.
“I figured they had to come into the plate since they had the bases loaded, and he left it up,” Fortier said. “I really wasn’t thinking much when I stepped in the box.”
Fuquay added runs in the sixth and seventh. The Bengals ended the second and sixth inning with the bases loaded.
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps