MARIETTA - There was no shortage of hits off Brookwood bats in its Class AAAAA state semifinal doubleheader with Pope on Monday.
The difference between the two games was when the Broncos got those hits.
Brookwood efficiently turned 15 hits - including three by Tremayne Toorie and two each by Chris Paul, Nicky Moore, Michael Brown and Trey Martin - into a 16-3 rout in the opener.
The nightcap was a different matter, however. The Broncos managed seven hits, but couldn't string enough of them together off Pope ace Jake Montgomery, who threw a complete game and pulled the Greyhounds even in the series with a 3-1 win.
Despite having their postseason winning streak ended at 14, the defending state champion Broncos (23-11) still have a chance to get back to the state finals for the second straight season. The series' third and deciding game is today at 6 p.m., weather permitting.
"To (Pope's) credit, they did a great job of adjusting (in the second game)," Brookwood coach Rick Howard said. "(Montgomery) did an outstanding job. He threw extremely well."
The Georgia-bound right-hander scattered those seven Brookwood hits and stranded nine Bronco baserunners, giving up only a first-inning RBI single by Moore and striking out six over seven innings.
Matt Adams (4-4) nearly matched the effort of Montgomery (8-1).
In fact, the senior left-hander only made two mistakes. He gave up solo home runs to Ryan Ussery - his third of the day after hitting two in Game 1 - and Steve Wilkerson in the first and third innings. Montgomery also allowed an unearned run and a total of five hits with three strikeouts in going the distance.
The Broncos had a chance to pull even twice with their best hitter, senior catcher Ronnie Freeman, coming to the plate.
But each time, in the fifth and the seventh, Pope coach Jeff Rowland rolled the dice and intentionally walked the Kennesaw State signee to pitch to Paul.
The move paid off each time as Montgomery got Paul to bounce back to the mound in the fifth and then struck him out looking to end the game.
"I haven't seen (Brookwood) play, but I know (Freeman is) one of their best hitters this year and last year," Rowland said. "We weren't going to let that guy be the one to beat us. We were fortunate it turned out the way it did."
Brookwood found every hole in and took advantage of every mistake by the Pope defense in Game 1.
The Broncos managed 15 hits - 12 of them singles - and capitalized on three Greyhound errors and three wild pitches.
Already up 2-0 after an inning, Brookwood erupted for three runs in the third - highlighted by RBI singles from Paul and Brown - and a four-run outburst in the fourth, which featured RBI singles by Toorie and Moore and Paul's sacrifice fly.
Freeman then launched his 10th home run of the season - a three-run shot - as the Broncos added the exclamation point with a seven-run fifth, extending the lead to 16-1.
That was plenty of support for Cameron Hall (7-4), who overcame an error that led to a pair of unearned runs on Ussery's two-run homer to close things in the bottom of the sixth.
The left-hander scattered six hits and one earned run over five innings and struck out six for the complete-game victory.