Wolfpack coach Chris Wilkins now hopes the spark portends long-term success.
Greenbrier jumped ahead with Duffie’s home run and proceeded to score multiple runs in each of the last four innings in a 9-4 win Thursday night against Harlem.
“It was definitely big, I thought,” Duffie said. “We finally started hitting the ball. Hopefully it sticks.”
After losing two in a row – and scoring 13 runs in their past three games, which included two extra-inning tilts – Greenbrier’s offense struggled through the first three innings against Bulldogs starter Logan May.
However, once Duffie’s blast in the fourth inning sailed over the fence, the hits, walks and fielding errors piled up.
Though Duffie, Hunter Boose, Clint Hardy and Adam Grice all recorded run-scoring doubles, Harlem miscues played a major role in giving the Wolfpack golden opportunities as they eventually took control with a 9-1 lead. Harlem pitchers also walked five and hit two.
But the fielding was the biggest issue on one defining play.
In the fourth, two Wolfpack were on base after walks and Duffie’s home run. Despite a ground out leading to the second out in the inning, a botched rundown scored two runs. Instead of getting what should have been an easy out at third, a low throw got away.
“They got a really good team,” Bulldogs coach Jimmie Lewis said. “They whooped our butts.”
Even with Trey Price’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning and three consecutive RBI hits in the seventh by Aaron Moore, Gregg Thompson and Dalton Green, Harlem couldn’t complete its comeback bid.