Forest City, NC (4 August, 2018) The Forest City Owls secured the second half western division championship for the third straight year with a 6-3 win over the High Point Thomasville Hi-Toms.
"It is a true honor to win it [the second half championship] and I couldn't be more proud of our guys and to be apart of a great organization is a blessing" said head coach Matt Reed.
The Owls would find themselves in a hole early in the 2nd as Sam Taylor would drive in Jackson Hesterlee and E.P Reese and the Hi-Toms would take a 2-0 lead.
Paul Salata would come up in the bottom of the second and would give the Owls a boost that the needed. Salata would jump on the first pitch he would see in the inning and hit a solo home run that landed in the next town over. With the score 2-1, starting pitcher Dillon Phillips would try to keep the Owls in it.
Besides one more run scoring for High Point in the 4th, Phillips would keep the Owls in it as he would pitch four strong innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits and striking out eight Hi-Toms during his start.
With the score 3-2 Hi-Toms, the Owls would find themselves down to their final out in the bottom of the 4th, and the top of the order due up. Derek Perry would get things started with a double and would be driven in with a McGowan single. McGowan would go 4-4 in game one of the double header with an RBI and two runs scored.
"Kendall just has a positive attitude every day in the office. He gives us a chance to win and if our entire hitting unit can play a consistent form of baseball? Then we are going to be right where we want to be come playoff time" said Reed.
After an AJ Wright walk, the Owls had two on with two out, a tied 3-3 game and the hot hitting Jordan Eckard coming up to the plate. Eckard would send a 0-1 fastball over the left field fence and give the Owls a 6-3 lead heading into the 5th inning.
On the backs of relief pitchers "Cowboy" Troy Hall, Daniel Kight and Brock Minich, the Owls would shut down the Hi-Toms through the last three innings and preserve a 6-3 win and their third straight second half western division championship. Forest City would finish the season going 29-20, have the fourth best overall record, and have multiple hitters and pitchers in the top three of select stat categories for the entire CPL.
"We just gotta play a full game of baseball tomorrow. It is the playoffs and anyone can beat anyone at anytime. We have to remain focused on the job at hand and carry this great success with us" said Reed.
The Owls will take on the Hi-Toms from Finch Field tomorrow, at 7 pm, in the first round of the CPL playoffs. The entire Owls organization would like to thank the fans for all their support through the 2018 season.