Coy pitches two-hitter to lead Hardaway to Game 3 win
By JOSH FULLER
Special to the Ledger-Enquirer
Looking to advance to the second round of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs for the first time since 2006, Hardaway coach Chris Gilstrap was confident in his pitching staff heading into a decisive third game against Northgate on Friday.
Sheridan Coy might have even exceeded his coach's expectations throwing a complete-game, two-hit shutout as the Hawks defeated Northgate 6-0 to advance to next's week second round.
Coy almost pitched the Game 1 performance of teammate Chris Briown, who pitched a one-hitter in Hardaway 1-0 win. Northgate won Game 2, 5-4.
Heading into the third game of the series, Gilstrap said he wasn't going to change the team's philosophy.
"We don't have to change anything because of our pitching depth," Gilstrap said. "It helped us that we didn't have to throw three or four pitchers out there yesterday."
Northgate had its chances in the game, including in the top of the first. Two runners reached base via walks and a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position with one out.
Jeffery Gin looked to give the Vikings the early lead as he hit a medium depth fly ball to center field. However, center fielder Justin Ellison caught the ball and threw out the runner at the plate for a double play to end the inning.
In the second, an error and a single by Jordan Schmits led off the frame for Northgate. Once again, Coy eluded damage retiring the next three batters to keep the game scoreless.
Hardaway's offense finally got rolling in the third as Tre'von Dorsey drew a walk. Blake Rupp laid down a bunt that advanced Dorsey to second and on the play Rupp beat the throw at first for a bunt single.
After a sacrifice bunt, Josh Anthony used his speed, legging out an infield single to shortstop that scored the first run. Coy helped his cause with a RBI single just over a leaping Tyler Dahlberg at short to give the Hawks a
Blake Meadows drove in the third run of the inning with a groundout, which recorded the second out of the inning.
With a runner on second, Ellison hit a ball up the middle where second baseman Buddy Green knocked down but couldn't make a play at first. However, Coy never stopped running, scoring from second.
Northgate tried to get back in the game in the fifth as back-to-back walks started the rally. Coy helped himself out picking the runner off a second and then recorded a strikeout for the second out of the frame. The pickoff came back to haunt the Vikings as James Poropatic doubled, which would have scored a run but only put runners on second and third. A deep fly ball ended the final threat for the visitors.
Ellison added a RBI single in the fifth and later scored thanks to a throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt.
Ellison finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
"This was a great team effort," Gilstrap said. "We are going to enjoy this win until Sunday when we start prepping for the next round."
Hardaway will host Evans, which swept Ware County 3-0, 3-1, on Wednesday.
Friday at Hardaway
Northgate 000 000 0--0 2 1
Hardaway 004 020 x--6 7 1
WP - Coy. LP - Fleckenstein. Leading hitters - Hardaway, Ellison 2 for 3, 2 RBIs, Anthony 1 for 2, RBI, Coy 1 for 2, RBI; Northgate, Poropatic 1 for 2, 2B. Records - Hardaway 24-5; Northgate 19-9. Next - Hardaway vs. Evans on Wednesday.