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Buford, Locust Grove split opening doubleheader of championship series
Game 3 scheduled for 5:55 p.m. Monday at Gerald McQuaig Field
Buford's Nick Wilhite connects on a hit against Locust Grove during the first game of the Class AAAA state championship series on Saturday in Buford. - photo by By David McGregor

Buford High took the first game of the opening doubleheader against Locust Grove in the GHSA Baseball State Championship Saturday before falling in the second at Gerald McQuaig Field in Buford.

The third and final game of the series will be played Monday at 5:55 p.m. at Buford.

The Wolves (32-4) outlived a pitching duel in Game 1 Saturday as University of Georgia signee Justin Glover pitched a complete game for a 3-2 win.

Ethan Lindlow topped the mound to start for the Wildcats (32-5-1), lasting 6 1/3 innings. A one-out walk and single in the bottom of the seventh inning chased Lindlow from the game with the scored tied at 2-all.

The first walk of the inning was to Dillon Lancaster and the single was delivered by Brandon Marsh, a Kennesaw State signee.

Then, Georgia Tech signees Austin and Nick Wilhite were both walked to score the deciding run and secure the win for the Wolves.

Glover finished the game allowing four hits, two runs (none earned) and tallying five strikeouts.

The first two runs for Buford were scored in the third inning as Thames Hudlow and Lancaster reached on errors.

Austin Wilhite drew a bases-loaded walk to plate the first run, before Nick hit a chopper up the middle. The Wildcats attempted a double play on the ball, but were only able to get one as a run scored.

Locust Grove answered back in the top of the fourth with a single from Will Dyar to score a pair of runs to tie the game up.

Freshman Nolan Crisp started the second game for Locust Grove and pitched into the seventh inning, helping the Wildcats force a deciding Game 3 with a 4-2 win.

The Wildcats, who are vying for their first baseball championship, are attempting to deny Buford a repeat title. They put that off for at least one more game, avoiding elimination and keeping their season alive. 

Griffin Jolliff, a Georgia Tech signee, started the game on the mound for the Wolves. The senior delivered a strong five-hit, six-inning performance with just two earned runs allowed.

Marsh finished his day with a combined six hits in the two games, one of which was a third-inning homer to straightaway center field to cut into a 3-0 Wildcat lead.

The final run of the contest came on a soft groundball back to the mound from Austin Wilhite. Lancaster broke toward the plate and drew the throw there. Lancaster managed to avoid the run down and score to cut the then 4-1 lead to 4-2.