As the number of walks and hit batters grew, so did Cross Creek’s chances.
The Razorbacks just needed one big hit. Jacob Lazenby provided two.
The senior recorded a pair of two-run doubles in the fourth and sixth innings to assist the strong pitching as Cross Creek won at home against Grovetown, 7-2, on Thursday evening in the Region 3-AAA Tournament. With the victory, the Razorbacks clinched a state playoff spot and advanced to the region semifinals.
“I need to be a senior,” Lazenby said, describing his mindset going up to the plate. “It could have been my last game if I didn’t get it done.”
The four RBI were more than enough for Cross Creek (18-5-1), which kept the bases busy thanks to eight walks and two hit batsmen.
The decisive hits backed up starter Matthew Avret, who was making his second varsity appearance as a pitcher. Avret gave up two runs in four innings and was relieved by Lazenby.
They surrendered four hits, despite some fielding issues by the Razorbacks.
Errors helped Grovetown (13-11) score both of its runs. In the first, Garrett Haskins reached before Phillip Dukes drove him in with a single for a 1-0 Warriors lead.
In the third, a walk, double steal and more defensive woes helped Grovetown score again and immediately answer Cross Creek’s run in the bottom of the second.
But the Warriors’ bats were mostly quiet, as Grovetown didn’t get an extra-base hit.
When threats to the lead appeared to be forming, Cross Creek quickly silenced chances, whether by catcher Robbie Dewitt throwing out a runner trying to steal or completing an impressive double play to end the game.
The Razorbacks next play Harlem on Monday for a spot in the region title game.
“Last year it was uncharted waters,” Cross Creek coach Tavis Cummings said about making the state tournament. “‘But no longer are you the hunter, you’re the hunted.’ ”