GISA Baseball Playoffs

Heritage School drops opener to Brookwood

by Chris Goltermann

The pitching was there. But not all the pieces fell into place for The Heritage School to open the Class AAA state baseball playoffs on Friday in a 4-1 loss at home to Brookwood School.

The Hawks dropped game one of a best of three series against 21-4 Brookwood while knowing they’ll need to win two games today on their home field, the first of which will begin at 11 a.m.

Mack Wilkins went the distance for Heritage School, allowing just five hits and striking out nine in a complete-game effort. His only mistake came in the seventh on a two-out, two-run homer by Warriors senior James Casanova. By then, however, the Hawks had been unable to take advantage of their opportunities, allowing an unearned run in the field and stranding runners in both the fourth and fifth innings.

“Wilkins pitched well enough to win,” said Heritage School head coach Lynn Huffstickler. “But when you give good teams walks and errors, they’re going to beat you.”

Heritage School tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fourth on Joe Bonner’s fielder’s choice following hits by seniors Tyler Nix and Luke Crook, who had to leave the game the following inning after having vision problems and was eventually taken to the hospital.

The starting catcher’s status for today’s games was unknown at deadline on Friday.

Brookwood jumped ahead 1-0 on a single, two walks and an outfield error in the top of the first and then took the lead for good in the fifth off a hit, a walk and another Heritage error.

The Hawks’ bats, meanwhile, managed just five hits, four of which came between the fourth and fifth innings. After pulling even in the fourth, Heritage School picked up two more singles from Brad Macke and Tyler Henson sandwiched between outs, before being unable to get the duo to the plate.

“We didn’t execute when we had the chance,” said Huffstickler, whose team fell to 17-3 after finishing second behind Loganville Christian in Region 1-AAA.

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