RALEIGH -- Caleb Wells hit his only home run of the season Saturday evening to propel Wilmington Laney to a dramatic extra-inning 6-5 victory over East Forsyth in the third and final game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A baseball championship series at Doak Field on the campus of N.C. State.
Wells' eighth-inning homer with two outs, after East had come from four runs back to tie the game, lifted the Buccaneers to the state championship. Both teams were playing in the NCHSAA baseball finals for the first time.
Senior Kyle Legates of Laney, who pitched in all three games and also had some timely hits, was voted the Most Valuable Player of the championship series.
East Forsyth had rallied from 5-1 down with a four-run sixth, as Ben Anderson came through with a two-run double and a single by Luke Dunlap drove home two more to knot the game at 5-5. Dunlap had opened the scoring with a solo home run in the first.
The Buccaneers snapped a 1-1 tie in the third inning when Brandon Manley delivered a bases-loaded double into the left field corner to chase home three runs.
Wells had two hits to lead Laney while Shane Dickerson and Dunlap had two hits apiece for the Eagles.
Two relief pitchers were the pitchers of record, as Ryan LaGrange got the win while Evan Orenstein was charged with the loss.
Laney had evened the series earlier on Saturday as Jeremy Bland and Dallas Perdue collected three hits apiece to lead the Bucs to a 6-3 victory. East won the first game of the series Friday night by a 4-3 count when Orenstein's solo homer in the bottom of the fifth broke a 3-3 deadlock.
Laney completed a 21-10 season while East Forsyth finished at 24-10.