Or, more specifically, Kent Emanuel.
The Wolverines' ace has been like kryptonite to the Hoyas over the past two seasons. Woodstock swept last year's season series and defeated Harrison 5-3 earlier this year. On Thursday, the Wolverines made it another season sweep, topping the Hoyas 5-2 in a Region 5AAAAA game at Don Shaw Field.
Emanuel was on the mound for all four victories, and his performance, coupled with some timely hitting from the Woodstock bats, proved to be a resourceful 1-2 punch for the Wolverines (10-11, 7-7) in the series.
"(Woodstock) did a great job executing their offense," Harrison coach Mark Elkins said. "They knew they had a quality pitcher on the mound, and he wasn't going to give up many runs. So they played for just a few runs, and, once they got the lead, he really established himself. He was really tough to hit."
Emanuel certainly had good stuff. The 6-foot-4 senior pitched a complete game, allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits and struck out nine. From the plate, he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the sixth that gave the Wolverines a 3-2 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Austin Neely was 1-for-3 with an RBI for Harrison (16-6, 11-3), while Adam Martin was 1-for-3.
Devin Rentz took the mound for the Hoyas, allowing one run in each of the first and third innings and left runners on base in every frame except the fifth.
Rentz pitched out of jams in the third, fourth and sixth innings, stranding a runner at third base each time. But the one-out home run he allowed to Emanuel in the sixth gave the Wolverines a 3-2 advantage.
Woodstock scored twice in the seventh to chase Rentz from the mound and put the game away. The Hoyas' pitcher ended the game allowing five earned runs on seven hits, while striking out five in 6 2/3 innings.
"(Devin) struggled a little bit with his command," Elkins said. "He didn't have his best stuff (Thursday), but he hung in there and gave our team an opportunity to be in the middle of it and have a chance to win the game. He hung in there as long as he could, but it wasn't quite enough."
Woodstock, which has won two straight, got on the board in the first inning. Drew Yeargin, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI triple, scored three times and had two stolen bases, stole home on a double-steal attempt with Jacob Bruce to put Woodstock in front 1-0.
Harrison, which had a five-game winning streak snapped, took a one-run lead in the bottom of the inning. Austin Neely's two-out single to left field scored Matt Gonzalez from second, and moved Taylor Bowles, who was pinch-running for Adam Martin, to third. Bowles scored on a throwing error during the play to put Harrison in front 2-1.
Woodstock tied the contest in the third on Bruce's one-out triple, which scored Yeargin from second. The Wolverines then took the lead on Emanuel's homer.
Woodstock scored twice in the seventh. Yeargin tripled to score pinch runner Tanner Skogen, giving Woodstock a 4-2 advantage. Yeargin scored on Reid's fielder's choice after sliding under the tag at home for the 5-2 lead.
Emanuel retired the side in the bottom of the inning to get the win and preserve Woodstock's chances of earning a state playoff berth. Harrison, meanwhile, fell one game back of first-place Etowah in the region standings after the Eagles' win over East Paulding on Thursday.
Harrison will travel to North Cobb today, which is a game behind the Hoyas in the standings. A Hoyas loss would leave the teams tied for second in the region.
"We need to respond and play well (today) against a quality North Cobb team," Elkins said. "Losing one game is tough, but losing two in a week could be devastating in terms of the state playoffs and having an opportunity to host. That's something that we want to do, but losing to North Cobb would make it really tough on us."