Led by senior pitcher Zane Potter, the Huskies swept to victory with wins of 17-1 over Unaka and 5-1 against University High to set up a championship decider with the Bucs today at 6 p.m.
“Zane has been great all year,” Huskies head coach Jason Lowe said. “We were lucky to win some games and keep his pitch count down today. That's a great team over there in UH but I know that any time number two is on the mound, we have a chance to win. I still have some pitching left. It will be young guys but if we keep swinging the bats, we'll give ourselves a chance.”
The Huskies struck for a run in the first against UH lefty Cas Blevins and three in the second on a bases-clearing double by Potter. Denver Weems had a one-out single back to Blevins, followed by a single from Chance Campbell (2 for 4).
An infield error on a Kole Zirkle grounder loaded the bases, then Potter (3 for 3) delivered his three-run double to center to stake North Greene to a 4-0 advantage.
Potter started game one against Unaka and threw 51 pitches over three innings of work and got the call in game two as well. NG added another run in the third as catcher Jonah Palmer singled home Cayden Foulks, who opened the inning with a double to left.
When asked about his defense surrendering three errors, Buccaneers head coach Josh Petty said: “Bottom line is we scored just one run tonight. Zane did a great job and at the end of the day we can say this ball should have been caught or that one — but Potter was dominant tonight and sometimes baseball is just that simple.”
UH finished with four hits.
North Greene 17
Unaka 1 (5 innings)
Junior pitcher John Ramsey went just 1 2/3 innings for Unaka (20-13) in the losers’ bracket final, giving up five runs on three hits. Ramsey walked five and gave up a pair of wild pitches as North Greene tallied five second-inning runs.
Junior lefty Bryson Street came on in relief but couldn't find the strike zone either, walking both hitters he faced.
After senior Hunter Rice got the final out of the inning, Unaka trailed 6-0. Back-to-back doubles from Potter and first baseman Turner Bailey in the top of the first brought home the first Huskies run.
The Rangers used six pitchers, who gave up seven hits but totaled 14 walks, hit four batters and committed four errors.
For North Greene, Potter pitched three complete innings, giving up no runs on one hit. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.