Two big rips from freshman catcher Nolan McLean and a lot of solid defense made the difference for Garner baseball on Friday.
McLean had a pair of triples with an RBI and a stolen base, leading the Trojans’ 10-hit attack as they topped Knightdale 10-5 to sweep their two-game series.
Garner (11-7, 7-3 Greater Neuse River 4A), which has won three straight games, had won its home contest in the two-game set 12-2 on Tuesday.
“We were able to get bunts down and move runners,” Garner coach Derik Goffena said. “We made some big plays at some times. We were facing one of the better pitchers in our conference in (Austin) Vernon, but fortunately we were able to keep it going and get somebody else in there.”
Knightdale (5-14, 2-8) lost its third straight game as the Trojans beat the Knights for the 11th time in their last 12 meetings.
Garner won despite an 11-strikeout performance from Vernon, who struck out 11 in six-plus innings.
The Trojans got a pair of hits and an RBI from both Noah Gallogly and Ryan Wheeler. Jackson Mitchell added a single and three RBI. Dylan Wheeler struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh to preserve the win.
Southpaw Chris Roddenberry went 4 1/3 innings in his start for Garner, allowing a pair of runs on five hits with two strikeouts and no walks before Eric Rodriguez came on in relief.
“I knew Vernon would be throwing it pretty good,” McLean said. “I needed to get my foot down early, see it and trust myself. I got lucky on my first hit, but I’ll take it. Our pitchers were good enough to get it done and get a lot of hitters out.”
Chase Faulkner had two hits for Knightdale, which got an RBI triple from Rhus Patterson. Logan Bedow added an RBI single with a pair of stolen bases.