Zebulon - Gray Garner¹s single in the bottom of the seventh brought home the winning run to lift Greenville Rose to a dramatic 4-3 win over Charlotte Ardrey Kell on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A baseball championship series at Five County Stadium.
The victory gave the Rampants a sweep of the best of three
series and provided Rose with its fifth NCHSAA state baseball championship since 1997, with all five wins in the state championships over a Charlotte-Mecklenburg team. The Rampants finished with a 28-3 overall record and won their last 13 games in succession.
Rose had battled back to win the opener on Friday night by
a 5-3 score in extra innings, with Clark Massey¹s two-run double in the
eighth lifting the Rampants to victory. Massey, who had several clutch
defensive plays on Saturday, was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship series.
Senior second baseman Garner led Rose on Saturday with
two hits. His final inning game-winner scored Patrick Roy, who had driven in the tying run moments earlier with a triple.
Both teams scored single runs in the first and then Kell
took a 3-1 lead with two in its half of the second, on back-to-back doubles by Logan Ratledge and Brett Nyenhuis and then a run-scoring single by Jack Reinheimer.
Paul McIntosh was the winning pitcher, going the route and
scattering seven hits while striking out two and walking one. Alex Wood was the losing pitcher for Ardrey Kell, a school just in its second year of existence. The Knights wound up 28-6 overall but remarkably lost all six of those games in a final at-bat.