Grayson broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with a bases-loaded single by Jeril Dawson and defeated Gwinnett County neighbor Brookwood 3-1 on Monday to salvage a two-game split of a Class AAAAA semifinal baseball series.
Brookwood won the opener 10-0 despite no earned runs. Lucas Sims, the state’s top pitching prospect, pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight. The Clemson signee lowered his ERA to 1.09.
The teams will play a deciding third game Tuesday at Brookwood at 5 p.m.
The first game Monday was a Grayson disaster. Brookwood put up eight hits in the game but benefited from five Grayson errors, two in an ugly first inning that also saw three Grayson walks and two wild pitches. Clint Carr’s two-run double to right field was Brookwood’s first hit. Carr bats sixth.
Brookwood batted around again in the second and scored four more runs with singles from Jordan Dykes, Ryan Woodard, Garrett Reynolds and Zach Moon.
Brookwood finished it in the fifth, invoking the run rule (10-run lead after five innings) when Woodard beat out an infield hit, scoring Cedric Mullins, who reached on error. Woodward and Reynolds each were 2-for-3 in the game.
Taylor Album (2-for-2) had two of Grayson’s three hits in the opener, then became the winning pitcher in the nightcap, pitching a complete-game six-hitter. Allum (9-0) is a junior who has committed to Kennesaw State.
The teams traded sacrifice flies through 5 ½ innings. Grayson’s Adam Meadows, a Clemson commit, drove in Dawson (2-for-2), who doubled in the third. Brookwood’s Dykes drove in Mullins (2-for-3), who tripled over first base in the sixth.
Chris Erwin, Grayson’s Game 1 losing pitcher, was 2-for-3 and scored the winning run after leading off the sixth with a single. Brandon Benson reached on a fielder’s choice, and Oscar Valdez had an infield hit, loading the bases for Dawson. Allen Tokarz (4-1) went the distance for Brookwood.
Grayson, trying to reach its first-ever baseball state final, is expected to pitch senior Griffen Ebel (8-1, 1.39 ERA) on Tuesday. Brookwood’s probable starter is Ryan Woodard (4-3, 1.63).
The final will be an all-Gwinnett affair as Parkview is playing Mill Creek in the other semifinal.