White Knoll defeated Greenville 5-4 to secure its fourth consecutive Forest Acres Classic tournament championship on Thursday at A.C. Flora.
Shortstop Carl Wise, the tournament MVP, said first-year coach Brooks Shumake’s confidence in the Timberwolves helped them to a 4-0 run in the annual tournament.
“I’m convinced he’s one of the greatest coaches in the state. He gives us the confidence that we have,” Wise said.
The big win did not come without a fight, though.
After their four-run lead disappeared in the sixth and seventh innings, the Timberwolves needed Ricky Harrison’s eighth-inning run, and a big defensive performance to close the game against the Raiders, ranked fifth in Class 3A.
“It’s a crazy game and our guys fought hard to win this one,” Shumake said. “They are playing really well and fighting really hard to be champions.”
White Knoll got the benefit of three hits and three runs in the fourth inning to take the lead.
Wise led off with a single, and first baseman Ray Murphy followed with an RBI double. Harrison singled to send Murphy home, and then two walks loaded the bases with no outs.
Trevor Bradley looked to do more damage, but Greenville pitcher Steven Wohlrab walked him, forcing Harrison home and giving the Timberwolves a 3-0 lead.
The Raiders stopped White Knoll there, but gave up another run in the fifth.
Greenville got on the board in the sixth with Rooke Crouch hitting a two-run double. The Raiders added two runs in the seventh after Cameron Reynolds hit a leadoff single, and Taylor McCuen followed with a run-scoring double down the third-base line. Gray Tollison singled to send in the tying run, but White Knoll would give no more.
“We really just needed to keep playing baseball,” Shumake said. “You have to stand your ground and win the battle of attrition.”
“This tournament was great for us. It gives us so much pride, the way we fought,” Wise said.
WP: Trevor Bradley (4-1) LP:Steven Wohlrab
Hitters: WK Wise 3-4, Harrison 2-3, Williams 2-4