The Greyhounds rallied from a 7-3 fourth inning deficit to post a 10-9 victory in Game 1. Pope couldn’t muster the same results in Game 2, letting a 4-2 fourth inning deficit balloon to 10-2, before falling 10-6 in the nightcap.
The decisive third game in the series starts today at 6 p.m.
Pope (21-9) trailed 9-6 entering the bottom of the sixth in Game 1. Patrick Wiseman led off with a double and Nathaniel Lowe walked. Stephen Skruck’s single loaded the bases and pinch hitter Harrison Siegal drew a RBI walk to pull the Greyhounds to within 9-7.
Wes Smith’s sacrifice fly to left plated Lowe and Jacob Culbertson’s two-out, RBI single scored Skruck from second to tie the contest at 9-all going into the seventh.
Cameron Allison, who came on in the fourth in relief of Skruck, gave up a lead-off single to Drew Dunagan, but retired the next three-batters he faced to preserve the tie.
Mason Shiflett led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and moved to second behind Wiseman’s walk. Lowe, who was 3-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, two RBI and two runs scored, laced a walk-off single to left that plated Shiflett with the game-winning run to complete the comeback.
Wiseman was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Shiflett batted 2-for-4 with a RBI and scored twice. Skruck was 1-for-3 with a RBI, Wes Smith had a RBI and Culbertson was 1-for-4 with a RBI. Jared Parker batted 2-for-4 with a RBI. Siegal was 0-for-1 with a RBI.
Skruck allowed seven runs — five earned — on three hits and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. He also walked eight batters and had two wild pitches. Allison gave up two earned runs off four hits and walked four in 3 1/3 innings.
The Bulldogs (23-9) scored five runs in the fourth to break the Greyhounds 3-2 lead and stake their 7-3 margin. Winder-Barrow recorded its five runs off two hits, two Pope errors, a passed ball, two wild pitches and two walks.
Patrick Overstreet was 2-for-4 with three RBI in Game 1. Dunagan was 2-for-4 with a RBI. Cole Baggett walked three times.
“We were fortunate to get a win the first game,” Pope coach Jeff Rowland said. “(Winder-Barrow is) a good team.”
Pope jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the nightcap behind Lowe’s RBI single that plated Shiflett who led off with a double. However, Pope’s pitching and defensive woes continued into the second game.
Winder-Barrow took a 2-1 advantage in the second after collecting two hits and drawing three walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch off Wiseman.
Lowe’s home run in the third knotted the contest at 2-all, but an error led to Travis Demeritte’s two-run double that put the Bulldogs in front 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Winder-Barrow added to its margin with a six-run fifth. Ten batters came to the plate in the inning as Pope had two more errors, another wild pitch and gave up five hits, including another two-run double from Demeritte, who was 3-for-3 with two doubles and five RBI in the nightcap.
Pope tried to rally in the final two frames, scoring a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.
Culbertson had a RBI and Lowe batted 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI. Shiflett was 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI. Wiseman, who went 4 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs — six earned — off eight hits and walked five and struck out five, also had a RBI.
Braden Zarbnisky came on in relief of Wiseman. He gave up two runs — one earned — off two hits in 2/3 of an inning. Chip Mattiford allowed one hit in the seventh.
“These were two very long ball games,” Rowland said. “Unfortunately, we came up short in the second one. (Winder-Barrow) did what they had to do to win.
“(Today) we’re going to have to better on the mound and string some hits together. We’re going to have to play better defense too and just play the game of baseball.”