Sophomore Kyle Krause earns the win over McIntosh in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. Photo by Natasha Zagrodnik.

The Buford varsity baseball team split a doubleheader with the 2023 GHSA Class 5A State Runner-Up McIntosh on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Gerald McQuaig Field.

McIntosh took the first game of the day over Buford with a score of 8-2. The Chiefs scored first with a solo home run in the first inning off of Buford pitcher Nate Taylor.

The Wolves gained the lead over the Chiefs in the bottom of the first inning after Taylor and Blake Russell both had RBI singles. Taylor was replaced in the fourth inning due to pitch count considerations. When Taylor exited the game, the score was still 2-1 and he had put in a solid performance with eight strikeouts and one run scored.

Junior Luke Hopper took over for Buford on the mound in the fifth inning. McIntosh turned right around and regained the lead with a two-run home run making the score 3-2 in favor of the Chiefs. McIntosh solidified their lead in the sixth inning as they scored five unanswered runs off of two doubles, two walks and two singles.

McIntosh took game one 8-2 and Hopper would record the loss. He pitched one inning and gave up two hits, five earned runs, three walks and no strikeouts.

Buford’s offensive standouts in the first game were Russell (3-for-3, one RBI), Taylor (1-for-4, one RBI), Cannon Goldin (1-for-3, a walk, one run scored) and Madden Young (1-for-4, one run scored).

The Wolves defeated the Chiefs 7-4 in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Braden Burton got his first start of the season for Buford and he quickly put away McIntosh in the first inning. Buford got on the board first with two runs off of a two-out single by Ayden Lockett.

McIntosh took a 3-2 lead in the third inning with two hits and two walks. A double play by Blake Russell and Ethan Murray ended the Chiefs scoring run.

Kyle Krause was called in to relieve Burton in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Wolves let loose in the bottom of the fourth inning when they added five more runs. The Chiefs opted to walk Goldin and load the bases. Young followed up with a base-clearing double and Murray and Taylor followed up with powerful hits that allowed two more runs to score.

Sohan Patel and Goldin pitched the final two innings for the Wolves and did not allow the Chiefs to score again giving Buford the 7-4 win.

Krause was the winning pitcher (in relief) having pitched for 2.1 innings where he gave up two hits, no runs and a walk while striking out three.

Offensive standouts for Buford in game two against McIntosh were Young (1-for-4, double, three RBIs, one run scored), Taylor (3-for-3, double, one RBI, one run scored), Goldin (2-for-3, a walk, two runs scored) and Lockett (1-for-3, two RBIs).

Buford’s overall season record improved to 3-1. Next week, the Wolves travel to play in the LaGrange Toyota Invitational tournament. They will play four games during the two-day tournament.

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