The teams will return to Pope today for the Class AAAAA series’ decisive game at 4:30 p.m.
“We played well the first game, came out and swung the bats and did what we needed to do,” Pope coach Jeff Rowland said. “In the second game, we just got too far behind. I feel like we’re never out of a game, but we just got too far in a hole and couldn’t come all the way back.”
In the opener, Pope (23-10) scored in every inning but the first while holding Evans (21-8) scoreless until the sixth.
In the second inning, Pope put together three runs and followed that by scoring once in the third. The Greyhounds, the top seed from Region 7AAAAA, had four players cross home plate in the fourth inning and added a run in the fifth for a commanding 9-0 lead.
Evans, the No. 2 seed out of Region 2AAAAA, got on the scoreboard by tallying a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning before Pope concluded the scoring with a run in the home half.
The Greyhounds finished with an 8-6 edge in hits and took advantage of three errors by Evans, resulting in four unearned runs.
Mason Shiflett was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored for Pope, while Nathaniel Lowe stroked a solo home run, drew two walks and score twice. Harrison Siegal doubled in his only at-bat and had two runs scored while Jacob Culberson ended 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored.
Wes Smith delivered a two-run single while Patrick Wiseman collected an RBI hit. Stephen Skruck went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored while Jared Parker drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
On the mound, Wiseman went five shutout innings for the victory, allowing two hits with six strikeouts. Braden Zarbnisky pitched one inning, as did Joe Arcieri.
Evans raced out to a quick 6-0 lead after two innings of Game 2 before Pope pushed across a run in the top of the third.
The Knights upped their advantage to 9-1 after three innings before the Greyhounds mounted a comeback with five runs in the fifth. Ahead 9-6, Evans added single runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Each squad had nine hits and there were a combined eight errors in the game, including five by Pope. The Greyhounds stranded 11 baserunners and the Knights eight.
At the plate for Pope, Skruck finished 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored while Shiflett was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Culberson went 1-for-2 with an RBI while Lowe doubled and scored.
Skruck was the Greyhounds’ starting pitcher. Chip Mattiford, Jacob Ramos and Josh Lowe combined to yield just two earned runs over the final four innings.