Brookwood certainly isn’t playing like a team that barely made the cut.
The No. 4 Warriors advanced to the second round of the GISA AAA state tournament with a 5-4 win over top-seeded Pinewood in extra innings on Saturday.
Brookwood, which was credited the home team, won on a two-out, RBI base hit by freshman Reid May in the eighth inning.
May, who also had critical hits in the waning stages of Friday’s win, wasn’t even a starter last week.
He caught the eye of coach Ken Johnson with standout performances in practice, and was installed to the lineup as a designated hitter.
“We kind of took a chance on him, and it paid off well,” Johnson said.
May brought home Peyton Latmore for the game-winning run. Latmore reached on a two-out double during the at bat prior, then scored from second base on May’s RBI.
“It really came down to the wire,” Brookwood coach Ken Johnson said. “I guess that’s how it goes in the playoffs.”
After padding four runs in the opening inning to take a 4-1 lead, both teams went scoreless until the sixth, when Pinewood tied the game with there runs.
Brookwood scored its first four runs by capitalizing with the bases loaded. Tyler Thompson led off with a single, Jordan Bradshaw reached on an error, Bradley Clark followed with a base hit, Chandler Stencel reached on a walk, Bradley Clark had a base hit, Cale Deese reached on an error and Peyton Latmore notched a sacrifice fly.
“That first inning helped us a lot,” Johnson said. “It gave us the cushion we needed.”
The coach added that playing two tight games in consecutive days should pay dividends as the Warriors eye a best-of-three series against Stratford in the second round.
These teams played five times last year, four in favor of Brookwood.
Johnson said that gameplanning for Macon-based Stratford will be favorable given the assortment of meetings between the two a year ago.
“I don’t think there will be a fear factor for our guys,” he said. “They know what they’re capable and will be ready.”
Brookwood, however, has yet to slate the game given a multitude of scheduling conflicts. Not only do players have exams during the next week and a half, but the school’s graduation ceremony is next weekend as well.
Johnson said he’d ideally like to play a doubleheader on Thursday, though should the teams split, the soonest they could meet for the rubber game would be the following Monday.
“It makes it a little tougher having to go on the road, which is something we didn’t have to deal with last year,” Johnson said.