Greenbrier doesn’t really need an extra incentive. The opportunity is enough: Two wins from the program’s sixth state championship.
However, the way last season ended, there might be a little added push.
After losing in the Class AAAA state championship series to Loganville in 2012, the Greenbrier baseball team is back in the final, this time in Class AAAAA. The Wolfpack visit Pope today, with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. A doubleheader split would necessitate a deciding game at 3 p.m. Monday.
“Certainly you think about it a little bit,” Wolfpack coach Chris Wilkins said. “Last year, I don’t know if anybody was surprised that we were there. I know that’s what we worked for. I don’t even want to say we expected to be there this year, but you work for it all year – I don’t think any of these kids are surprised we’re here. There might be some incentives for the seniors, but I don’t know.
“It’s just another shot. I think everybody wants to take advantage of that.”
Greenbrier’s run to the championship has been done as a No. 4 seed. It is 8-1 in the postseason. Pope’s path has been a little more stressful, as the Greyhounds have been pushed to a third game in three of the four rounds.
“I wish I could bottle it up,” Pope coach Jeff Rowland said about his team’s clutch ability. “They just find ways, keep battling, to win.”
Greenbrier has received strong pitching from Austin Robinson. In his last three starts in the state playoffs, Robinson has gone the distance each time.
The Wolfpack are looking to earn the program’s first state title since back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007.
Winning it all this year would mean Greenbrier avoids back-to-back defeats in the state championship.
“Here we are again, with another shot,” Wilkins said. “I would sure like to win it, because I know what it’s like to be on the other side, watching somebody else dogpile.”