The Buford baseball team captures program's 24th region title with win over Collins Hill on Friday, April 19, 2024. Photo courtesy of Buford baseball.

Senior Blake Russell’s leadoff home run in the second inning helped the Wolves win their fourth consecutive region title and 20th game of the season on Friday, April 19 by defeating Collins Hill 7-2 at Collins Hill.

In the second inning, Russell’s home run, his second home run of the season, got Buford on the board first. Senior Ethan Murray got on base two innings later with a line drive to the left corner. Collins Hill walked two Buford batters to load the bases. Murray was driven home by a single hit to left field by junior Parks Cleveland. Two more runs were scored after a single by sophomore Cam Wood and a bases-loaded walk to senior Madden Young. A botched double play by Collins Hill’s shortstop allowed two more runs to be scored by Buford making the score 6-0.

Collins Hill would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runs. The Wolves would add their final run of the game in the seventh inning to make the score 7-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore Kyle Krause, after having pitched the rest of the game was relieved in the seventh inning by sophomore Ryan Elliott who got the final two outs for Buford.

Krause (3-1) pitched for 6.1 innings where he gave up four hits, and two earned runs while striking out six and not walking a single batter.

Offensive standouts for the Wolves were Russell (2-for-2, solo home run, one RBI, two runs scored, two walks, two stolen bases), Taylor (2-for-4, two RBIs), Cleveland (1-for-2, a walk, one RBI) and Wood (1-for-3, one RBI, one run scored).

Buford’s overall season record improved to 20-8-1 and 14-1 in Region 8-7A.

Buford will host Kennesaw Mountain in the first round of the state playoffs on Thursday, April 25 for a doubleheader. If a third game is necessary, it will be played on Friday. Game times are to be determined.

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