It took 10 innings but the Hickory won the 5A State Championship with a 6-4 win over the Douglas Freeman Rebels. Jarrett Mustain scored on a throwing error when the shortstop threw the ball into the dugout. Stephen Polansky added an insurance run with a single that scored his brother Mikey Polansky.
The game went back and forth with Douglas Freeman answering a Hickory score with their own run in the bottom half of the inning. Hickory used four hits to plate three runs in the third. Christian Lowry doubled in a run and Mustain hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0. Mikey Polansky followed with a double to the right field fence for 3-0 lead.
Douglas Freeman used three straight hits to score two runs. Connor Melhorn doubled to the gap and Sam Cox tripled to left field scoring Melhorn J.T Bellotti followed with single scoring two runs.
Mikey Polansky hit a homerun into the trees in the 5th inning to give Hickory a 4-2 lead. Polansky finished the game with two doubles and a homerun. The Rebels tied the game with an RBI double by Cox who scored a few moments later on a passed ball strikeout.
Both teams relied on the bullpen to keep their titles hopes alive. Hickory sophomore Ryan Berglund relieved starter Colby Rudis and picked up the win after throwing five shutout innings. Douglas Freeman senior Miller Trevvett relieved starter Eric O'Brien in the 3rd inning and he allowed only one earned run in 7.2 innings.
Douglas Freeman had several chances to win late in the game but a couple of baserunning mistake ended the threat in the seventh and eighth innings. The Rebels had two on with one out in the seventh but left-fielder Cody Schneider doubled up the base runner advancing to third.
Player of the Game - Mikey Polansky
Hickory had plenty Player of the Game but freshman Mikey Polansky went 3 of 4 with two doubles and a homerun. He also scored the insurance run after drawing a walk in the 10th inning.