Marist Sweeps Best of Three Series With Benedictine For GHSA 4A State Title
On Thursday, the Marist War Eagles and Benedict Cadets faced off for the Georgia High School Association Class 4A state championship in a best of three game series. The War Eagles would convincingly take care of business in game one as they picked up the 5-0 win to take the 1-0 series lead. However, in game two, the Cadets would look to avoid the series sweep and get things started by taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning following a pass ball by Marist pitcher Ryan McTighe.
In the bottom of the third inning, the War Eagles would even up the score thanks to a two out RBI double by Tyler Hare that would score Andrew Mannelly and tie the game 1-1. The score would remain that way into the bottom of the seventh inning as both McTighe and Benedictine’s Carter Holton (10 strikeouts) would dual it out on the mound. But after two men would get on base for Marist, Holton would be pulled and replaced by Greg Mullen. The Cadets would intentionally walk Hare, loading the bases bringing Greg Taylor to the plate with two outs, and Taylor would make the Cadets pay for it with a walk off RBI single to give the War Eagles the 2-1 win and GHSA 4A state championship.
Following the game, Marist head coach, Mike Strickland, credited his players for answering “every time we had to answer.” Coach Strickland went on to say that he also just had the feeling that his guys were not “going to go away,” in which they did not when they tied game two in the bottom of the third inning. As for how special the state title win was for Coach Strickland after having the 2020 season cut short, he had this to say, “I think I value our time together a lot more now because I lost time with a group last year and that hurt in a lot of different ways. So when I finally got back together with them, it was like wow, I’m going to cherish every minute of it,” an emotional Strickland said. The win gives Marist their 14th state title in program history.