CARY — The first round of the 4A state baseball tournament was a pitcher’s duel for host Green Hope and visiting Broughton, but a walk is what sealed a win for the home team.
There were few hits and even fewer runs as the two battled it out on the mound, but ultimately Green Hope’s seventh-inning surge helped it escape with the 2-1 victory.
“My guess was that it would be a 2-1 game because they have a really good pitcher and we have a really good pitcher, so I expected it would be low scoring,” said Green Hope coach Michael Miragliuolo.
Coming to bat in the seventh inning, catcher Thomas Yoder hit a double.
Luca Scelsi followed with a single, and Yoder slid into third base.
After a single from senior Keaton Derks, pinch-runner Troy Maslowski sprinted across the plate to tie the game.
Junior Chris Tutwiler kept things rolling for the Falcons, earning a walk. With two outs, and the bases loaded at the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Taylor Waters stepped up the plate convinced he could propel his team to victory.
“I was pretty confident. I was thinking he’s was going away with the pitch because he’s been pitching away the whole game. I’ve had pretty good at bats with him,” said Waters
“On the 3-1 count, I knew I wasn’t going to swing. I was going to get a full count and battle from there.”
But he didn’t have to battle. Broughton pitcher Austin Walker threw his fourth ball, and the Falcons rushed off the bench to celebrate.
In the top of the third with the bases loaded, Broughton’s John Woods knocked a single – his second of the game – that sent Austin Walker across the plate to give the Capitals (13-10) a 1-0 lead.
Green Hope (20-5) faced frustration as they went through four more innings without evening the score.
“We’ve got to understand where it is that we are falling short. We’ve lost five one-run games in the last two weeks, almost three weeks. We’ve made great strides from last year to this year, but we’ve got to get that little extra that’s going to put us over the edge,” said second-year Broughton coach Harry Jones.