Fitzgerald 12 K's As River Ridge Forces Game 3 With 11-1 Win Over Alexander In 3rd Round of GHSA
On Thursday, the Alexander Cougars and the River Ridge Knights began their Georgia High School Association Boys Baseball Class 6A third round best of three series in which the series winner punches their ticket to the final four. In Game one, the Cougars would jump out to an early 3-0 first inning lead and despite solo homeruns for the Knights in the top of the sixth and seventh innings, Alexander would go on to take Game 1 by a final score of 3-2.
In Game 2, the Cougars looked to start things early once again in the top of the first inning as lead off #21 Justin Culpepper would rip one deep to right field for a triple. The next batter, #13 Dalton Hill would then get walked by Knight’s starting pitcher #3 Noah Fitzgerald putting runners at the corners for the Cougars. However, Fitzgerald would settle down quickly striking out the next three batters to retire the side as Alexander would leave two stranded on base.
In the top of the second inning, with the game still scoreless, the Cougars bats were cooled as #2 Conner Perry would fly out to left and Fitzgerald would strike out the next two batters making that five for him early in the game and on his way to a twelve strike out night. In the bottom of the second inning, River Ridge would take a 3-0 lead after an RBI single by #14 Ethan Anderson with and a two run single by #15 Nick Blubaugh.
After holding the Cougars scoreless in the top of the third inning, the Knights would pick up another run in the bottom of the third inning when #21 Cael Chatham would step to the plate with two outs and a runner at second and connect for an RBI single. In the fourth inning, Alexander would final get on the board after a solo homerun by Perry with one out making it a 4-1 game but Fitzgerald would pick up three more strike outs giving him nine in the game thus far.
The Knights would then add three more runs to their score in the bottom of the fourth including Fitzgerald doing some damage from the plate as well with an RBI triple and the Knights would take a 7-1 lead into the top of the fifth inning. Fitzgerald would then go on to strike out three of four batter in the top of the fifth inning, and in the bottom of the fifth, after the Knights took a 9-1 lead, Fitzgerald would once again come up big at the plate with a two run double making it an 11-1 game and final score as River Ridge would take Game 2 and force a Game 3 set for Friday at 4:30PM.