Valdosta Daily Times

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May 14, 2014

One more to play

Cook, Wesleyan Split Elite Eight doubleheader; Game 3 today

ADEL — Cook and Wesleyan played to a doubleheader split in the quarterfinals of the GHSA AA playoffs Tuesday afternoon in Adel, forcing a third and decisive game to determine who will move on to the final four. In Game One, Wesleyan used timely hitting and subpar Cook defense behind Hornet starter Sam Goberdhan to knock off Cook, 7-4.

The Wolves took an early lead in the opening game, scoring three in the second inning thanks to good situational hitting off of Goberdhan. Brendan Abernathy recorded an RBI groundout to open the scoring for Wesleyan, and Jake McCleskey followed with a two-RBI single to push the lead to 3-0.

Cook responded in the bottom half of the inning when Goberdhan plated Maysoe Wiley with an RBI groundout, and Christian Adams scored on the following play due to an errant throw by Wesleyan starter Andrew Sauer.

In the third, Wiley momentarily pulled the Hornets into a tie when the speedy right fielder singled through the middle of the infield to score Dalton Rentz. Wesleyan quickly regained a lead the Wolves would never relinquish, however, when Abernathy recorded his lone hit of the game on a line drive double to the left center field gap.

The Wolves would further pad their lead, and pitcher Alex Thompson was stellar in relief as Wesleyan rolled to a 7-4 win.  With the win, the Wolves pushed their postseason record to 5-0.  In those five wins, the Wolves outscored opponents 46 to 7.

Goberdhan received the loss in Game One, partially due to a defense that committed four errors behind him. Only two of the Cook starter’s seven runs allowed were earned, and Goberdhan exhibited good command, striking out five and walking only two.

On the brink of elimination in Game Two, Cook responded by winning a 3-2 thriller.

Cook starter Dalton Rentz kept the Hornets in the game by allowing only one run over five innings, and right fielder Maysoe Wiley again came up big by blasting a solo shot to left center field that tied the game in the sixth inning.

In the seventh, the Hornets loaded the bases with two outs for Hunter Harrell, who responded by doubling down the left field line to give Cook its first lead of the game at 3-1.

Closer Parker Bennett made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh by allowing a run on a hit by pitch, but induced a popout with two outs to get out of a bases loaded jam and seal a 3-2 win for Cook.

With Cook’s win, the Hornets and Wolves will play a decisive Game Three at 4 p.m. today in Adel. The winner will move on to the final four to face Benedictine, who beat Lovett two games to none in their respective quarterfinal.

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