WILLIAMSTON — Rosewood will have to wait another day to punch its ticket to play in the state championship series.
In a game as taut as a chess match, Bear Grass Charter scored first and later walked off in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 win over Rosewood in game two of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A East Regional baseball series Friday evening.
The Bears jumped on the Eagles in the bottom in the first inning by scoring three runs and taking a 3-0 lead, but the Eagles (22-4 overall) started mounting a comeback in the top of the third inning.
“You never plan to start off the game that way,” Rosewood head coach Jason King said. “For those guys to dig in and fight back, they truly believed in each other and in what our team can do. We just fell short there at the end.”
Carson Hatem laced a one-out single and scored when Logan Price hit a double. Will Harris delivered a sacrifice fly with one out to make the score 3-2.
Later in the top of the sixth inning, Conner Casey drew a walk and set up high drama as the potential game-tying run. On an 0-2 pitch, Carson Hatem drilled a single and Casey sprinted off toward home plate.
In a bang-bang play at home plate, Casey was called safe, and the game was tied 3-3.
The Eagles needed three outs to send the game into extra innings, but the Bears weren’t going down without a fight.
With two outs, Donald Stotesberry’s single allowed Jordan Leggett to reach third base. Joseph Perry then singled to drive in Leggett and end the game.
Harris earned the loss on the pitcher’s mound with a complete-game effort that included four strikeouts. He allowed just four hits and walked only one batter.
“After giving up the three runs, Will bore down and was just a competitor,” King said. “That’s just the kind of person he is, and that’s why we want to give him the ball on the mound because he wants the ball in his hands all the time.”