CARY, N.C.—T.C. Roberson High (Asheville, N.C.) picked up its second win at the National High School Invitational, edging Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.) 2-1 in a consolation round game.
Both teams were starting Division I recruits on the mound, with Roberson's Parker Johnson (Wake Forest) matching up with Grayson's Taylor Allum (Kennesaw State). Each team was able to scratch across a run in the early innings, but the starters were in control throughout.
Johnson did have some trouble locating his curveball early, but he was able to rely on keeping his fastball down in the zone until he got he feel for the curve as the game progressed. He ended up striking out nine over 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three walks.
"At first, the curveball wasn't coming over real well," Johnson said. "But whenever (catcher Dominick Cammarata) set up inside, I just seemed to be able to find and throw that for a strike better. So, as soon as we figured that out, we went inside curveballs and staying low in the zone with fastballs."
The Rams weren't able to put many dents in Allum either, as he struck out six and permitted just two hits over six innings, but they were able to manufacture the winning run without getting a hit in the bottom of the sixth. Tanner Bush worked a walk to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and then scored on Braxton Davidson's sac fly.
Grayson threatened in the top of the seventh, putting men on second and third with two outs as Johnson finally ran out of steam. The Rams summoned lefty Logan Allen to close it out, facing Grayson's Chris Erwin and with top prospect Austin Meadows looming on deck.
"We got to that full count (on Erwin),and believe me, we were aware who was on deck," Roberson coach Eric Filipek said. "I looked at our pitching coach, and we're sitting there going, 'We can't walk this guy.' "
Allen came through though, whiffing Erwin swinging on a breaking ball to end the game and leave Meadows stranded in the on deck circle.