WOODSTOCK – With a pair of wins over Parkview on Saturday, Woodstock has earned its place in the 2022 Class AAAAAAA state championship.
The Wolverines took a 4-3 victory in game one, followed by a 6-4 game-two win. Woodstock held Parkview to its two lowest scoring outputs of the postseason and used great pitching and timely hitting to burst into the state title game.
“We are really excited,” coach Jeff Brown said. “I am really proud of these guys. They have done everything I have asked of them. They bought into what we are doing offensively, defensively and with pitching. They just go out there and play hard.”
Brayden Davis pitched a complete game for Woodstock in game one, giving up just six hits, two earned runs and one walk while striking out four batters. Davis dominated on the mound, and outside of Parkview’s three-run fifth inning, he stifled a potent offense.
Game one was a tale of two big innings for each team. Parkview took its brief 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, but Woodstock bounced right back with a four-run outburst in the bottom half of the inning. The Wolverines finished with seven hits overall.
Gabe Wuerth led Woodstock at the plate with a 3-for-3 night, walking once and scoring once. Logan Bryson and Michael Preiser were tied for the team lead with two RBIs.
In game two, Parkview struck early with one run in the opening inning. Woodstock put up three runs in the third, scoring again in the fifth and sixth innings. Parkview out-hit Woodstock 11-6 in the game, but the Wolverines made the most of their opportunities, highlighted by Bryson’s two-run home run in the fifth inning.
“I feel like at any moment, a new guy wants to be the guy that wins it,” Brown said. “We have different guys who step up. You look at what Brayden did today and what Colin did to close it out. Logan had the big home run that gave us more of a cushion. It is just different guys every day, and I think everybody on our team believes they could be the guy in that big moment.”
Kevin Maurer started game two on the mound for the Wolverines, going four innings and giving up two earned runs on seven hits.
Colin Bryant pitched the final three innings and delivered as Woodstock’s high-leverage reliever. Bryant surrendered only one earned run on four hits while striking out four batters.
Kameron Douglas had Woodstock’s lone multi-hit performance in game two, adding one RBI and one run scored to his line. Five different Wolverines cracked the hit column, with four recording at least one RBI.
Home-field advantage played a role in Woodstock’s sweep of Parkview. The familiarity of the park, combined with a confident approach, helped push the Wolverines over the top of a challenging opponent on Saturday.
“We knew that playing at our place was huge,” Brown said. “We play really well here. Going in, we knew this was where we wanted to play all of our games. We pitch and play offense well on this field. We are not depending on the long ball to win games. It is great if we get one, but those were actually the first two home runs hit at this park this year. We know that we have to play our game.”
Woodstock will begin its quest for the state’s 2022 crown on Friday, May 20, at Truist Park.
“I hope we have a little better baseball to play here next week,” Brown said. “We can obviously clean things up a bit, but we are playing really well, and we believe that we can play with anybody. We are just excited for the opportunity.”