Green Hope Upsets Walton In First Round
It was supposed to be a night for Walton (Marietta, Ga.) High starting pitcher Luke Bartnicki to show off his arsenal in front of an assortment of major league scouts. Instead, it was a sophomore lefthander who stole the show: Cary’s own Liam Norris of Green Hope High School.
The Green Hope Falcons dismantled Walton by a score of 7-1 in the final game of the night in the first round of the 2018 National High School Invitational.
After a shaky first inning that saw Norris put two runners on base before getting out of a jam, the pitcher was automatic—both on the mound and at the plate. Norris produced three hits on the day, all singles, and drove in two runs to bolster his own run support. On the mound, he was even better.
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In six innings of work, he surrendered just one run and struck out nine batters. His head coach, Michael Miragliuolo, was pleased with the growth shown by his pitcher.
“This year as he’s matured, he's really been able to maintain his composure,” Miragliuolo said. “He’s throwing that breaking ball for a strike just enough to keep people off balance and obviously a good fastball and movement. Once he had the lead, he knew just go after them, be a bulldog and go after them.”
His fastball sat in the low 90s and was supplemented by a curveball that occasionally froze the opposition. Due to a high pitch count, he was replaced by Kohl Abrams in the seventh inning. Abrams picked up where Norris left off, recording the final three outs and sending his team into a second-round matchup with Mountain Ridge (Riverdale, Ariz.) High Thursday afternoon.