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GREENSBORO— North Lenoir exploded for six runs in its final at-bat on Saturday night to defeat East Bend Forbush 10-5 in the third and decisive game of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A baseball championship at First Horizon Park.
The Hawks improved their record to 30-3 in clinching their second consecutive NCHSAA state title, winning 19 of their last 21 games. Forbush ended the year 29-6.
Junior righthander Stihl Sowers, who was the winning pitcher in relief for the final game and went the distance in the Hawks’ 13-1 win in Friday night’s opener, was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship.
Forbush had rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run triple by Drew Willard. But North Lenoir took advantage of a pair of Falcon errors, three hit batters, a wild pitch and three hits to produce the six-run seventh inning and earn the title.
Alex McGaughy rapped out three hits in five trips for the winners while sophomore Bryce Grady had a pair of hits and two RBI.
The third game was forced when Forbush beat North Lenoir 11-5 earlier in the day to even the series. Corey Newman, the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2006, went the distance on the mound for Forbush to improve his record to 11-0, allowing three earned runs. Brandon Sutton (10-2) got the loss.
Forbush banged out five doubles in a big seven-run second inning to take command. Daniel Davis had a triple and a double and Willard a pair of two-baggers for the Falcons in that one.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
GAME THREE, STATE 2-A BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
First Horizon Park, Greensboro
North Lenoir 2 2 0 0 0 0 6 -- 10 9 3
Forbush 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 -- 5 11 3
John Alphin, Stihl Sowers (5), and Tyler Smith; Ryan Allred, Corey Norman (6), Justin Moody (7) and Kolby Epley. WP—Sowers (13-0). LP—Allred.