Broncos rally to beat Panthers

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

SNELLVILLE -- Parkview had the big comeback the first time the rivals met a few weeks ago. On Monday night, it was Brookwood's turn.

The No. 3 Broncos scored six runs in the sixth inning and kept the No. 2 Panthers from clinching the Region 8-AAAAA outright title with a 7-3 victory before an overflow crowd at Brookwood.

Nick Moore had a tie-breaking bases-loaded triple and fellow senior Jacob Beauchamp allowed five hits in a complete game victory while improving to 6-0.

"You have to believe in your team," Beauchamp said. "I knew we'd get some runs."

But going into the bottom of the sixth, the Broncos had left eight runners on base and trailed 3-1.

Parkview (17-7, 12-2) had rallied from a 7-0 deficit to beat Brookwood 12-7 on April 4 at home. This time Brookwood (17-6-1, 10-4) wouldn't be denied.

"I knew this was my last time to play Parkview and I knew how bad we wanted this game," said Moore, also a football standout for the Broncos. "I couldn't let everyone down."

RBI hits by Brian McGrath and Zach Rinehart tied the game and Moore came up against lefty Phillip Taylor with the bases loaded and one out. "I was determined not to strike out," the third baseman said.

Moore smashed a 2-and-2 fastball to the right-field fence to clear the bases and give Brookwood the comeback victory. Michael Gouge followed with an RBI single to make it a four-run game and Beauchamp set the Panthers down while giving up just a walk in the seventh inning.

"We need something like this," said Brookwood coach Rick Howard, whose team was coming off a 4-3 loss to Dacula. "We've been waiting all season. This was a huge win."

The comeback was possible because Beauchamp, a 6-foot-6 left-hander, kept the Broncos within striking distance. He struck out four and walked four, benefiting from two nice catches in center field by Tremayne Toorie.

"His last two outings have been outstanding," Howard said of Beauchamp, who went six innings in a victory over South Gwinnett last week. "He's really come a long way this season."

The loss was only the second in the past 16 games for Parkview, which is still in command of the region. Both the Panthers and Broncos have two games remaining in the regular season and the best Brookwood could do is tie for first place.

Beauchamp retired Parkview in order in the first two innings, striking out three, before the Panthers broke through for a pair of runs in the third on two-out hits.

Jarrett Freeland led off with a single and pinch-runner Marquis Webb got to third base with two outs on a passed ball and grounder. Then Josh Hart and Edwin Arias came through in the clutch, with Hart driving in the first run with a triple and Arias accounting for the second run with a single.

After stranding four runners in the first three innings, Brookwood cut the Parkview lead to 2-1 in the fourth and got Panthers freshman starter Mac Marshall out of the game. Moore led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder to shortstop by Lucas Sims that was ruled an error.

After a one-out single by Reeves Blankenship, Taylor replaced Marshall and struck out the next two batters to end the Brookwood threat.

Brookwood stranded two more runners in the fifth and Parkview increased its lead to 3-1 with a run in the sixth, Zack Reinstein scored after a double. But then came the big Brookwood rally.

Moore, Rinehart and McGrath all had two hits for Brookwood, which finished with 12.