Garret True walked to the plate looking to drive the ball.
The Tattnall Square senior just needed a fly ball with the bases loaded to knock in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
But True did much more, belting a grand slam to break open a tie game against Dominion Christian in Game 1 of the GISA Class AAA championship series Monday. Jordan Brooks finished off Dominion with six strikeouts in the final two innings for a 7-3 win over the previously undefeated Knights. Tattnall (27-5) can earn its second consecutive championship with a win today. Game 2 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
“I just wanted to make sure we got a run,” True said. “Just get a run in. I guess it worked out for us.”
True’s bases-loaded blast came with one out in the sixth inning shortly after Dominion pitcher Garrett McDaniel had tied the game with a solo home run. The Knights (28-1) replaced McDaniel — the senior had allowed three runs to that point but all were unearned — with Nick Galvin. Galvin gave up singles to Colby Andrews and Josh Glover, and Grant Nicholson reached base on an error with one out, giving True the biggest opportunity of his career.
The ball came stinging off True’s bat, sailing over the left-field fence quickly. The Tattnall team exploded immediately when the ball left the bat.
“It’s something he definitely has the ability to do,” Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller said. “He’s got the right mindset to not over-do, and I’m real proud he took the right mindset into that situation.”
Tattnall’s other hero was Brooks, who came in after starting pitcher DeAndre Smelter injured his forearm.
Brooks entered the game with two outs in the fifth inning, a batter after McDaniel tied the game at 3-3.
After a walk and a bad throw gave Dominion a runner on third, Brooks got a line out to shortstop to end the threat. He got all six of his outs during the final two innings on strikeouts, with two coming after Dominion got runners on second and third with one out in the top of the seventh inning.
“I try to stay focused through any game and stay mentally focused whenever my team needs me,” Brooks said. “I knew I just had to bear to down and get the job done.”
Tattnall (27-5) made the best of its opportunities early in the game. The Trojans scored three unearned runs with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to jump out to a lead.
The Trojans scored when the Dominion third baseman couldn’t handle a hard-hit grounder by Glover that scored Brooks. Nicholson followed that with a two-run double.
Dominion scratched back for two runs in the top of the third, with both also coming off errors.