Woodstock’s Chance at Redemption

Staff Writer: Matthew Sanchez

The Woodstock Wolverines baseball team looked to get a ring in 2018 after falling just short last year. They made it to the championship but got swept by cross town rival, Etowah Eagles. This year they became region champions after finishing the regular season 27-5 and 11-4 in the region. In the first round of the state the Wolverines hosted the North Cobb Warriors. Caleb Bartolero had a strong performance behind the plate as he threw out five runners in the two games. He won the Chop Wood Carry Water award. The Wolverines swept the Warriors with an 8-3 win in the first game and 3-0 win in the second. They advanced to the second round to play the winner of the Camden County and East Coweta. Bartolero said after the win, “It was a great team win and we are no where near done.”

Camden County beat East Coweta to advance to the second round to face the Wolverines. The Wolverines hosted this game on Thursday, May 3, hoping to get another sweep. In Game 1, Josiah Siegel had an amazing performance as he pitched a four-hit and 14 strikeout complete game. The Wolverines won 8-0 and looked to stay hot in Game 2 with Zach McManus. That is exactly what they did, the bats were hot, and the game ended after 5 innings with a score of 11-0. McManus had a complete game with 7 strikeouts. Justin Bailey and Preston Suter took home the Chop Wood Carry Water awards as they led the team with hot bats at the top of the lineup. They advanced to the third round to play the winner of North Gwinnett and Grayson. Bailey said after the win, “It’s hard leading off for the team, but it helps having pitchers that dominate the mound every game.”

Grayson beat North Gwinnett in Game 3 to advance to the next round and host the Wolverines. The Wolverines traveled to Grayson on Wednesday, May 9, looking to advance to the next round. In Game 1 the bats were hot right away as the Wolverines took an early lead and never lost it. The Wolverines had another mercy rule as the game ended after 5 innings with a score of 11-1. McManus looked to lead the team to a win in Game 2. He had a rough start as the Rams scored two runs in the first inning. In the third inning the Wolverines tied it up. Late in the game, it became very heated with a lot of tension between players, coaches and fans. Before the 5th inning, the Rams pitching coach got thrown out after arguing a controversial play. After that, fans were very loud, and each team looked to break the tie. McManus had a huge 5th inning as he went three up three down and the Wolverines bottom of the lineup looked to stay hot. Ethan Foley led off the inning with a huge homerun and the Wolverines never looked back. They had a 5-run inning and had all the Grayson fans quiet. The Wolverines finished the game winning 9-2 for another sweep and advanced to the Final Four for the second year in a row. Carter Maczko goes 0-1 in Game 2 with a hard-hit ball that was somehow stopped by the pitcher. Coach Brown gave the Chop Wood Carry Water award to the whole team as the whole lineup played very well. After talking to foley after the win, he said, “It was an awesome game by everyone, and an amazing feeling hitting my first homerun since I was 12.”

The Wolverines traveled to Parkview on Monday, May 14, for what they knew was going to be their biggest challenge of the year. Parkview, also a top 4 team in the state, looked to get revenge as they lost to the Wolverines in the Elite 8 last year. Game 1 was a very tough game, and the Wolverines came out on top to win 4-3. Siegel continued his dominance on the mound as he pitched another complete game and got another win. Hayden Harris and Foley’s bats stayed hot as they both homered to secure the Game 1 win for Woodstock. In Game 2, McManus had a very good performance as he only allowed one run through 6 innings. The Panthers made him throw a lot of pitches, so he could not finish the game. The game went into extra innings, and in the 8th inning the Wolverines had a few errors and the Panthers kept hitting the ball as they scored 4 and ended up winning the game with a score of 5-1. It was a tough loss, but the Wolverines would be the next day looking to get a victory. Woodstock came up short in Game 3 as they lost 6-1. The Wolverines did not play their best game and Parkview stayed hot to advance to the state championship. After the tough loss, Brennan Milone said, “It is not as hard as last year, but it sucks to come up short of our goal.”

It was an amazing season for the Wolverines as they set a school record with 32 wins in a season. The Wolverines have 13 seniors and it will be tough losing those players, but they look to be right back next year. The seniors had a lot of amazing accomplishments including: 57 wins in 2 years, first region championship, first playoff series win, first and second final four appearance and state runner-up. It was an amazing few seasons for these players and it’s tough to see it end, but the Woodstock baseball team has gotten a lot better behind Coach Brown.

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