Sophomore Kyle Krause is the winning pitcher for game two against West Forsyth on May 1, 2024. Photo by David McGregor.

After Buford’s decisive victory over West Forsyth in the second round of the GHSA Class 7A state playoffs, head coach Stuart Chester is looking ahead to next week’s games against Brookwood.

Buford hosted West Forsyth for a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 1 at Gerald McQuaig Field. The Wolves beat the Wolverines 16-9 in game one and 9-0 in game two to send Buford to the Elite Eight.

In game one, senior Nate Taylor (8-2) recorded the win on the mound for Buford. Offensive standouts for the Wolves were sophomore Caleb Griffin (3-for-3, double, walk, two RBIs, one run scored), senior Jayden Clark (2-for-3, two RBIs, two runs scored), Taylor (2-for-4, walk, two RBIs) and senior Damian Brown (1-for-1, double, three RBIs).

In game two, sophomore Kyle Krause (4-1) was the winning pitcher for Buford. Offensively, Buford was aided by standout performances from senior Ethan Murray (3-for-4, solo home run, double, one RBI, two runs scored), Griffin (two RBIs, one run scored), sophomore Ayden Lockett (1-for-2, sac fly, three RBIs, two runs scored, one stolen base) and sophomore Cam Wood (1-for-2, walk, two runs scored, one stolen base).

Buford as Region 8’s No. 1 seed will host Brookwood, Region 4’s No. 2 seed for a doubleheader on Monday, May 6 in the Elite Eight.

Region 4 baseball is highly competitive with perennial powerhouse Parkview in the mix, so dismissing Brookwood because they are that region’s No. 2 team would be foolish. 

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Gilbert,” said Coach Chester. “His programs are always fundamentally strong and play the game the way it should be played.  Brookwood probably is as talented on the mound as anyone in the southeast.  Games like Monday will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and execute their game plan.” 

Chester pushes his team all season with a high level of competition to help prepare his team both mentally and physically for the postseason. Statistics on paper can be misleading because they do not factor in a team’s schedule difficulty.

“This round is huge and impactful.  Anything can happen to teams. Sometimes it’s not the most talented team that advances but the team who is mentally tough, and the team with the united locker room,” he said.

Buford will be led by its group of seniors like Brown, Clark, Murray, Blake Russell, Taylor and Madden Young.  The Wolves will also see underclassmen play a huge role as they have all season. Sophomores such as Griffin, Krause, Lockett and Wood have been instrumental in Buford’s success during the 2024 season.

“We have some young players in important roles,” said Chester. “Their impact and performance are a tribute to their belief in the process as well as our great senior leadership who maintains our culture and the uncommon pace we work at.” 

Fans can catch the Buford Wolves take on the Brookwood Broncos in a doubleheader in the GHSA Class 7A Quarterfinals on Monday, May 6 beginning at 4 p.m. at Buford’s Gerald McQuaig Field. If a third game is necessary, it will be played on Tuesday, May 7. Tickets for Monday’s doubleheader can be purchased at for $10 per ticket. Buford has a strict clear bag-only policy for all of its games.

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