Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Grayson Jeril Dawson (4) misses the tag on Brookwood Michael Gouge (27) at second base during the Class AAAAA semifinals playoff baseball game at Brookwood High School in Snellville on Monday. Brookwood defeated Grayson 10-0 in game one.
SNELLVILLE -- Grayson played one of its worst baseball games of the season in the opener of the Class AAAAA semifinals on Monday.
The Rams relied on the arm of Taylor Allum to stay alive in the series in Game 2.
Allum threw a complete game in Grayson's 3-1 victory. That was after the Rams were dismantled 10-0 in five innings in Game 1.
"I knew we had to pick it up," Allum sad. "That first game was a fluke for us."
The two teams will play Game 3 of the series Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Brookwood. Grayson (27-8) will send Griffin Ebel to the mound, while Ryan Woodard will pitch for Brookwood (24-10).
"I'm proud of them the way they came back after Game 1," Grayson coach Seth Rhine said.
The winner advances to the Class AAAAA state championship game where it will face the winner of the Parkview vs. Mill Creek series. Parkview won Game 1 of the semifinal 5-4 and will resume the series Tuesday.
Brookwood won the state championship in 2008 and looked primed for another finals appearance after Game 1's 10-0 win on Monday.
But the Broncos didn't have the same success hitting off Allum in Game 2. The junior allowed five hits, one run and struck out four.
"Taylor is the ultimate competitor for us," Rhine said. "He's a very seasoned junior. He's been in these situations before and you know the moment is not too big for him."
Jeril Dawson led off the third inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Meadows to give Grayson a 1-0 lead.
Brookwood tied the game in the top of the sixth when Cedric Mullins hit a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Dykes.
The Rams came back in the bottom of the inning with hits by Chris Erwin, Oscar Valdes and Dawson to add two more runs for the 3-1 lead.
"They answered when they needed to answer," Brookwood coach Rick Howard said.
Allum ended the game with the help of a double play for the win.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Taylor Allum," Howard said. "He threw a great ball game. They made plays behind him."
Allen Tokarz got the loss and allowed nine hits through six innings and struck out three.
The Game 2 victory came after a 1 hour and 45 minute weather delay after Game 1. The nightcap also featured a 30-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the third inning.
"I thought both teams did great dealing with the delays and adversity," Howard said.
It was a disaster first inning for starter Erwin and Grayson in Game 1. Erwin walked three batters, the Rams' shortstop made two throwing errors and Brookwood capitalized on the miscues. Grayson made five total errors in the game.
Garrett Ryenolds had a two-out two-RBI double down the right field line to make it a 5-0 game.
Dykes and Woodard had singles in the second and Clint Carr and Reynolds brought in both runs.
Erwin left the game after 1 innings of work. Jonathan Bailey came in for relief, but didn't get much help defensively. A routine throw to end the inning failed when the first baseman dropped the ball and two more runs scored for a 9-0 lead.
"I'd say that's at least the two worst innings we've played all year," Rhine said.
That was plenty of support for Brookwood pitcher Lucas Sims. The Clemson signee struck out eight and allowed three hits. He walked two and hit one batter.
Woodard drove in the game-winning mercy rule run in the fifth with a base hit to score Cedric Mullins.