With the high school baseball season down to its last game, Greenbrier fell into a deep hole it couldn’t dig out of.
The Wolfpack got to within 7-4, but eventually fell 14-4 in six innings to Loganville in the finale of the best-of-three series to determine the Class AAAA state champion.
Greenbrier coach Chris Wilkins received the runner-up trophy after the game, and he handed it to senior Jordan Hunt.
“It’s not the trophy we wanted,” said Hunt, who finished 1 for3. “You can’t win them all. We happened to lose the biggest one of the year. All around we’ve had a great year. Just to make it this far tells me how good we’ve been. God has a plan, and I guess this is part of it.”
The Wolfpack were vying for their first state crown since 2007 and finished with a 31-5 mark, their best since going 33-1 while winning the title in 2006.
Wilkins, in his fourth year as head coach, said they couldn’t have come this far without his group of five seniors.
“I’m very proud of these seniors,” he said. “They’re the first group that came when I got here. They’ve been a very special group to me. They’ve gone far beyond anything we’ve asked them to do.”
Senior Hunter Boose was a part of that core group, and his two-run homer in the fourth inning brought the Wolfpack to within 7-4.
“I love my teammates,” said Boose, who went 2 for 4. “I’ve been playing with pretty much all of them since I was 12 years old. There wasn’t a day I didn’t look forward to practicing, coming to all of them.”
Wilkins will look for redemption next year.
“Hopefully we’ll be back soon,” he said. “I certainly don’t like this taste in my mouth and I’d like to get it out somehow, but we’re going to have to wait a year to do that.”
Christian Hill (7-2) took the loss after the Red Devils (31-9) struck for seven runs in the first two innings.
The Red Devils won the state title for the first time since 2008. Garrett Ford (10-1) took the win, scattering eight hits.
After closing to 7-4, the Wolfpack surrendered four runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.
“I felt like we could have fought back; it just didn’t happen,” said junior catcher Taylor Glover. “It’s never over; we’re always in the game.”
Loganville added a run in the fifth inning, then ended the game on a two-run home run by Brandon Pergantis in the sixth. They got their 14 runs on 12 hits off four Wolfpack pitchers.
“When we needed a big hit, we just hit it right at somebody,” Wilkins said. “They certainly deserved the 14 runs they got; we didn’t give them anything. I certainly thought we would have scored more than four the way we hit the ball.”
Wilkins was happy to be in the position to have a chance to win the title.
“At the end of the day, hard work gives you a chance, and these guys didn’t get here by accident,” he said. “I’m very proud to be associated with this program. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wouldn’t trade it for a state championship.”