Senior Ben Jernigan hit two solo home runs and junior Jonathan Pryor drove in five runs as the War Eagles captured the Region 5-AAA championship with a 12-2 victory in six innings of Game 3 of the series.
“This was our goal all year,” Woodward coach Jim Minor said. “Our ultimate goal is the state championship but the region championship is the first step. We faced a good St. Pius team. We did what we had to do to win. We hit the baseball when we needed to and scored a bunch of runs.”
Josh Minor also homered and fellow senior Kevin Cosper had three hits for Woodward, which will host Troup in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs Friday.
After Jernigan’s second homer of the game tied things at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning, the War Eagles took control in the fourth by putting three runs on the board.
“Both of them were line drives right out of the park,” said Jim Minor of Jernigan’s solo home runs. “Of course you got a little wind blowing out but he’s going to hit home runs. He’s the team leader.”
With two on, Pryor doubled to score courtesy runners Alex Eidson and Glenn Sawyer. Then one batter later, Alec Sard singled to plate Sawyer for a 5-2 advantage.
In the fifth, Woodward’s offense exploded like it has done all season, producing six runs in the frame.
Zack Blonder started the barrage with an RBI single to right. Then with the bases loaded Zack Wingate took a pitch in the back to push home Josh Minor. A batter later, Pryor emptied the bases with a three-run double and three batters later, Cosper capped the surge with an RBI double to left for an 11-2 lead.
“Our theory is always you got to make the guy throw enough pitches,” Jim Minor said. “We worked him into a count well enough that he had to throw a lot of pitches and he just began to get tired and we started hitting the baseball. That was obviously a big inning for us.”
In the sixth, Josh Minor officially ended the contest by sending Logan Rosoborough’s 3-2 pitch over the outfield wall.