Greenbrier sure has a flair for the dramatics.
After catcher Jeremy Armstrong picked off Woodward Academy runner Will Sessions at second base in the top of the seventh inning, left fielder Brad Ramsbathem hit the first pitch he saw over the left-field wall in the bottom of the inning to give the Wolfpack a 2-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday.
In the nightcap, Scott Wandless capped an eight-run second inning with a grand slam en route to Greenbrier's 12-2 victory, to sweep the War Eagles out of the Class AAAA state baseball playoffs.
"It was two different games completely," Greenbrier coach Ed Williams said. "Both pitchers did a great job in the first game. We hit the ball hard in that second game, and Scott's grand slam took the wind out of their sails."
The Wolfpack will face the winner of Hardaway and Ware County at Greenbrier.
Woodward starter Jordan Redella and Wandless locked themselves into a pitcher's duel after allowing RBI singles in the first inning.
Redella scattered seven hits over seven innings, striking out seven with one walk. Wandless held the War Eagles to five hits and struck out nine.
"The first game we were in there battling, but it took a lot of the wind out of our sails to have that walk-off home run," Woodward Academy coach Jim Minor said.
Nothing went right in Game 2 for Woodward Academy.
Wandless had a leadoff single in the second and advanced to third on a wild pitch by War Eagles starter Brad Gomel and a passed ball by Alex Bowen. Wandless later scored on an error.
After Brooks Robinson sacrificed Ramsbathem to second, designated hitter Adrian McCladdie had an infield single to give the Wolfpack a 2-0 lead.
Ryan Wallace then laid down a suicide squeeze that pushed the lead to 3-0. A walk and an error later, Wandless hit his first grand slam of the year to center field.
"Someone needed to step up right then ... and I told Ben (Tankersley) right before that I was going to hit a bomb," said Wandless, who went 5-for-8 with four RBI in the doubleheader. "I called my shot, and it came true."
Said Williams, "You can't say enough about (Scott). Even though he's a junior, he's a leader. It sets the tone when you have someone like that go out there and throw strikes and get people out."
Greenbrier pitcher Michael Newman allowed two runs in the bottom of the second, but settled down to help secure the five-inning win.
"I think we have a good chance (in the playoffs), and Newman came out and showed me a lot today. I'm proud of him," Wandless said.
Reach Miguelangelo Hernandez at (706) 823-3304.
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