Broncos' offense leads the charge

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

SNELLVILLE -- Brookwood banged out 17 hits at the plate en route to an 8-4, Game 3 win over North Forsyth on Saturday in the first round of the Class AAAAA baseball playoffs.

Friday night after a doubleheader split, Broncos' head coach Rick Howard said for his team to come out on top in Game 3, it had to get timely hits.

"Our guys played differently today," Howard said. "They didn't let our mistakes dictate how they played and showed they wanted this one."

On the mound, Brookwood's Allen Tokarz was masterful, allowing no earned runs in his six innings of work. All four runs the Raiders scored were unearned.

Brookwood (21-7-1) struck first in the first inning as they loaded the bases with no outs. An RBI fielder's choice by Zac Rinehart plated Trey Martin. However, blunders on the base paths limited the Broncos to that one run.

"You can't say enough about Allen Tokarz," Howard said. "He went out there and competed. He threw great."

North Forsyth answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning as Clemson-bound Tyler Slaton singled and took third when Tokarz overthrew the first baseman on a throw over. Tyler Riddle hit an RBI sac fly and the game was back at square one.

The Broncos broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the third, stringing together four straight hits with two outs. Tremayne Toorie singled to left field and scored on a Rinehart RBI triple off the top of the centerfield wall. Rinehart later scored on an RBI single by Nick Moore, who in turn stole second and took third on a catcher overthrow. Michael Gouge's RBI single plated Moore to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead.

The fifth inning saw some strange things. After a Rinehart single to center and subsequent wild pitch to move him to second, Moore delivered an RBI single to center field. However, Slaton picked up his glove too early in center and the ball rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Moore to motor all the way around the basepaths for another run to give Brookwood a 6-2 lead.

Miscues by the Broncos allowed the Raiders to cut the gap to 6-4.

"We had some errors and things like that happen," Howard said. "The main thing is our guys were playing hard and giving the effort. You can live with mistakes if the effort is there."

From there, the Brookwood offense added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, while holding down the fort on defense.

Rinehart finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored, while Moore was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Martin was also 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

In the bottom of the seventh, Lucas Sims was called on to shut the door and he delivered, inducing a foul out, fly out and striking out Nick Fernandez to send Brookwood onto the second round.

Brookwood will now hit the road Wednesday to take on Region 5-AAAAA No. 1 seed Lassiter.