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HoCo swept out by Pope, Bulldogs fall in Game Three

The Houston County Bears’ baseball team made the trip to Northeast Marietta to take on the Pope Greyhounds in a doubleheader in the GHSA Baseball Playoffs Final Four and the result was a Greyhounds’ sweep, winning 7-4 and 1-0 to end the Black, Silver, and White’s 2024 season. The host plated the first three runs of Game One and the score was 3-0 through the first three innings of the game.

HoCo got on the board in the first of the fourth when Eli Stephens hit an rbi single to drive in Kendall Jackson to cut the gap down to 3-1 and Pope got two more runs in the last of the fourth to lead 5-1 which was the score through five innings of play. In the top half of inning six, Troy Carpenter hit an rbi double to drive in Vick Gann to cut the gap down to 5-2.

Ethan Buffone would hit an rbi double to drive in Troy Carpenter to cut the gap down to 5-3 Pope. The Greyhounds plated two more runs in the last of the sixth to push it’s lead to 7-3. Kendall Jackson hit an rbi single in the top of the seventh to drive in Noah Odom to cut the gap to 7-4 Greyhounds.

Troy Carpenter would come up to bat with the bases loaded with a chance to hit a game-tying grand slam but he would fly out to end Game One as Pope would win 7-4 to take a 1-0 series lead. Kendall Jackson, Eli Stephens, Troy Carpenter, and Ethan Buffone each were responsible for HoCo’s four rbis in Game One.

Bears’ SP Landon Tankersley pitched the entire first game surrendering seven earned runs on 11 hits, walking one, and striking out two in the process.

Game Two would be a pitcher’s duel and Pope plated a run in the top of the third after HoCo committed it’s fourth error of the contest. In the last of the sixth with two outs on the board and the bases loaded, Ethan Buffone hit a line drive to left field and it looked like it went over the third base bag for a possible two rbi double to give HoCo the lead but the umpire ruled it a foul ball and Buffone would ground out to end the inning with HoCo getting no runs.

Pope would shut HoCo down in the last of the seventh to win Game Two 1-0 to sweep the series 2-0 and advance to their third consecutive Final in a row. HoCo’s Carson Small was the SP for only third time this season and he threw a complete game and surrendered one unearned run on two hits, walking one, and striking out two in the process.

Pope’s SP for Game Two Ethan Garrett, also pitched a complete game and he surrendered no runs on one hit, walking three, and striking out six in the process. Pope improves to 27-13 on the season and will play in the Final next Friday at Coolray Field. The Bears end 2024 at 29-9 overall.

Elsewhere, the Mary Persons Bulldogs played at Calvary Day in the winner-take-all Game Three and got shut out 2-0 to finish their historic 2024 season at 24-14 overall.

The first three photos of where the ball was that ended up being called foul.

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