EAST BEND — After a 10-year conference championship drought, Forbush baseball has gone back-to-back. The Falcons were named regular season champions after a successful season. To add a cherry on top, the Falcons won the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference tournament championship with a 8-4 win over North Surry Friday night.
“It feels good (to win the WPAC). It’s not what I expected when I came back. I expected it to take a couple of years, but we turned it around really quick,” said head coach Jack Moss. “We were young last year, and we’re still young as I only start three seniors. We’re excited about the win, and we’re ready for playoffs. We enjoy being 19-3.”
The Falcons went into the WPAC championship game with pure confidence. After a cancellation on Thursday night, and a push back of the start time on Friday, Forbush was ready to take the field.
The first inning saw Forbush show North Surry just how the game was going to go, as the Falcons made the Greyhounds go three-up three-down. Things became even better for the Falcons in the bottom of the first, as Forbush took advantage of the Greyhounds by scoring three runs.
“We played good, except for some of our pitching as we didn’t throw strikes when we needed to, but we did hit the ball extremely well,” said Moss. “Jamie Sheek started it off for us by hitting to the fence and Campbell hit it to the fence which set the tone from that point on.”
Jamie Sheek started things off with a double to the center field fence, and Tyler Campbell answered back with a double of his own which also went to the center field fence. Campbell’s hit scored Sheek and gave Forbush a 1-0 lead. Carter Foster was able to bring Campbell to third base with a ground ball to third base. With a runner on third, the next two Forbush players were walked to load the bases.
The next play saw the action ramp up for both teams — Jacob Shore hit a ground ball to shortstop Mack Cooke, who threw the ball to second to get Landreth Cockerham out for the second out of the night. Brett Johnson tried to throw Shore out at first but his ball was thrown past the first baseman, Chase Chandler. Shore tried to show off his speed, but was thrown out as Chandler recovered the ball and threw Shore out at second. Campbell and Blake Winebarger were able to score before the third out was recorded which gave Forbush a 3-0 lead heading into the second inning.
North Surry seemed to be getting its groove back as the Greyhounds loaded the bases in the second inning. Mason Gwyn singled off of a hit to center field, while Brett Johnson was walked. With runners on first and second, Chase Goodson was able to load the bases with a hit to right field. The next two batters were unable to bring the runners around the bases as they both struck out.
Forbush kept its momentum up in the bottom of the inning as Gregory got things going. Gregory singled off of a line drive to left field to put the first runner of the inning on base. Alex Boyles was able to record a hit of his own with a hard hit into center field which saw Gregory advance to second. With two runners on base, Sheek stepped up to the plate and found a hit to right field which scored Gregory.
With runners on the corners, Campbell hit a fly ball into right field which earned him an RBI as Boyles tagged up and gave Forbush a 5-0 lead. Foster didn’t stop the momentum as he hit a hard ball into left field to earn a double and score Sheek. The Falcons were able to put three runs on the board to make the score 6-0.
The Greyhounds were finally able to put numbers on the board in the top of the fourth inning to cut Forbush’s lead in half.
With a 6-3 lead, Forbush scored two additional runs in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 8-3. Boyles stole home for the Falcons, and Foster earned a double to score Campbell.
In the fifth inning, North Surry cut Forbush’s lead in half once again as Tucker smashed the ball over the left field fence to record the only home run of the night. The rest of the game saw Forbush take control and keep the Greyhounds on its heels. The Falcons were able to retain control and take a 8-4 win over the Greyhounds.
Forbush had several players make All Conference and Honorable Mention for the 2017 season. Jack Moss was named the WPAC Coach of the Year, Tyler Campbell was named the Offensive Player of the Year, and Peyton Winebarger was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
All Conference players included Tyler Campbell, Carter Foster, Jamie Sheek, Jacob Shore, Blake Winebarger, and Peyton Winebarger. Honorable Mention players included Tanner Gregory and Wesley Wood.
The Falcons earned a No. 1 seed in the 2A playoffs and will host No. 32 Madison (9-13) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in East Bend.