Wolfpack knock off region rival

GREENBRIER 5, LUELLA 3

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Greenbrier's baseball players arrived at their field after a particularly tough loss earlier this month and decided coaches didn't need to be a part of what happened next.

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Greenbrier's Blake Ross safely steals second base as Luella shortstop Julius Gaines is late with the tag in Greenbrier's win. 
  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Greenbrier's Blake Ross safely steals second base as Luella shortstop Julius Gaines is late with the tag in Greenbrier's win.

They gathered in left field and took turns speaking their mind. A loss at county rival Harlem had sparked a bout of bickering. The meeting was called to halt it.

Everybody has a role, players said. No pointing fingers outside of team functions.

"We got it all out," shortstop Ben Morgan said. "We basically said we need to start hitting the ball and knowing our roles."

The Wolfpack have won four consecutive games since the players-only meeting. The latest was a 5-3 victory Tuesday at home over Luella.

The Lions snatched the 2009 Region 2-AAAAA title from Greenbrier after winning the teams' second meeting by enough runs to earn the tie-breaker. That Luella team graduated 10 seniors and the one on the field Tuesday started four sophomores.

"I'm hoping we can grow up a little bit and turn it around," Luella coach Andy Cooper said.

The Wolfpack took advantage and led 5-0 before Luella began to chip away late.

Greenbrier (5-3, 2-0) avoided disaster when pitcher Shawn McCain wiggled out of a fourth- inning, bases-loaded jam. With one out, the Wolfpack got a force out at the plate, then Lions leadoff hitter Cody Powell popped up.

McCain has had to adjust to a new role this season. The senior, signed to play next year at Western Carolina, moved from reliever to a starting role, and from catcher to first base on days he doesn't pitch. Freshman Taylor Glover has been called on to run things behind the plate.

McCain struck out five Tuesday. He forced the Lions to put the ball in play and allowed the defense to work behind him.

Lefty Chad Farmer relieved McCain in the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs. He walked in a run but fanned the other three batters he faced. Farmer finished with seven strikeouts in three innings.


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