The Glenbrook Apaches pummeled the Franklin Academy Cougars 11-3 Friday in game two of a three-game set, sweeping the series and ensuring another weekend of baseball.
State championship dreams do not have to die just yet for the upstart Apaches, a team that started the year with a new coach and the news that three returning starters were either transferring or not coming out for the team. First-year head coach Greg Clark has done a masterful job of pulling the strings, certainly earning a sizeable piece of the credit for the Apaches’ hot play.
He’s not ready to hear any of that talk, instead deferring to his players.
“This was one of our better games of the year,” Clark said. “In warm-ups the guys looked so good, I knew we were ready to play well.”
Glenbrook scratched and clawed for their four runs in Tuesday’s 4-1 road victory. The runs came much easier on Friday, thanks largely in part to seven free passes from Franklin pitching.
The walks set the stage and made things easy for established veterans like Mason Hood and Parker Christy; each drove in two runs and had runs scored.
Brandon Merritt earned the win on the mound, going 6.1 innings, striking out four and walking four while limiting the Cougars to three runs.
“He just pounds the zone,” Clark said. “Not a hard-throwing lefty, but he refuses to let teams string hits together against him.”
Merritt had the luxury of pitching with the lead for most of the afternoon once Glenbrook started the game with a two-run frame, followed by a five-run second inning. Cameron Barnett’s home run in the fourth inning served as the dagger.
The Glenbrook offense also got a nice boost from Cade Clemons, as Clemons had the only multi-hit game of the night for the Apaches, doubling and singling to go with one RBI and two runs scored; Merritt singled and had one RBI to help his own cause, as did Nick Mourad. Jackson Powell added a single and a run scored.
“We’ve been preaching quality at bats,” Clark said. “We’ve talked about patience at the plate all year and they’re finally buying in. Once we get on base, that’s when we can play our game.”
Glenbrook will face Wayne Academy in round two, starting Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Minden for game one.