Cook and Screven County played two closely contested games Saturday afternoon in Adel, battling to a doubleheader split to force a third and decisive game in round one of the GHSA playoffs.
In game one, starters Wyatt Beasley and Sam Goberdhan kept the game low-scoring, putting zeroes on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. The Hornets struck first in the home-half of the fourth, using an RBI groundout from Hunter Harrell to plate the game’s first run and take a 1-0 lead.
Cook added insurance in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs thanks to three throwing errors on the same play by the Gamecocks. The play started when Zane Folsom hit a sac fly to left field, allowing Connor Hilliard to score and push the Cook lead to two. Stacy Sailor and Dalton Rentz also scored on the play thanks to an array of throwing errors by the Screven County defense.
The Hornets would need every one of those runs, as the Gamecocks came back to score three of their own in the top of the sixth. Cook starter Goberdhan made several good pitches in the inning, but his defense let him down as two unearned runs scored in the inning and third baseman Shadon Kemp ripped a single to left to score another.
Parker Bennett relieved Goberdhan and escaped the sixth inning jam, preserving the 4-3 lead for the Hornets. Bennett stayed in to finish the game and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to shut the Gamecocks down and take a 1-0 series lead.
Folsom, Bennett, Harrell, and Blake Cowart each had one hit to pace the Cook offense in game one. Goberdhan received the win, as he pitched five and a third innings and didn’t allow an earned run. He threw 46 of his 71 pitches for strikes and struck out four.