Even though he is one of a pair of aces on South Granville’s loaded mound staff, Holden Laws was down to his final trump card during his club’s home contest Friday against Randleman in the fourth round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A baseball playoffs.
After eight strong innings of work, Laws, a junior left-hander, was scheduled to be replaced on the hill in the next frame due to the mandatory pitch count. So Laws turned to his bat in the bottom of the eighth to deliver the game’s biggest blow – and send the Vikings once again to the East regional finals.
Laws ripped a double to left field to score teammate Clay Walters with the winning run as South Granville, a two-time defending state finalist (and 2015 title winner), move on with a tough 2-1 decision over the Tigers.
“My adrenaline was really pumping,” said Laws, who has verbally committed to N.C. State. “(South Granville coach Jeff Tate) told me I was going to be done with pitching, so it was time for me to go hit and get it done that way.”
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Now 25-3, South Granville will move into a best-of-three regional final series against Edenton Holmes next week. The Vikings swept the Aces in the same round last spring en route to earning a state runner-up finish.
Laws, who shared South Granville’s ace duties with N.C. State signee Justin Bullock, allowed just one hit and one unearned run over eight innings. He walked two and hit a pair of batters while striking out 10 to increase his season whiff total to 113.
Bullock also contributed with his bat as his third-inning homer gave the Vikings an early 1-0 advantage. Randleman (23-7) would respond with an unearned run in the top of the sixth that would eventually force extra innings – and set up Laws’ plate heroics.
“It was a great game – a tough game,” Tate said. “We just have a good group that really wants to win. They are determined.”