Two thrones for the Roy­als

Forbes de­liv­ers one-hit­ter to key base­ball cham­pi­onship

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS - BY ERIC KOLENICH ekolenich@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6109 @EricKolenichRTD

Buck Forbes used to throw a curve­ball, but he dropped it from his ar­se­nal when he re­al­ized he was get­ting ev­ery­thing he needed from his slider.

The slider ap­proaches the plate with higher ve­loc­ity than the curve, and it makes a late break, cut­ting across the plate and set­tling on the edge of the strike zone.

Forbes used the pitch to per­fec­tion Satur­day, throw­ing a one-hit­ter, strik­ing out seven bat­ters and lead­ing Prince Ge­orge to an 8-0 vic­tory over Po­tomac (Dum­fries) in the Class 5 state fi­nal at Deep Run. The Roy­als (21-3) claimed their first state ti­tle in base­ball.

Six miles away at Glen Allen High School, just minutes later, the Prince Ge­orge soft­ball team won its first state cham­pi­onship. They were the first two team state ti­tles in school his­tory.

“Buck Forbes has been tremen­dous on the mound,” Roy­als coach Mickey Roberts said.

“He’s a strike-throw­ing ma­chine.”

The one hit Forbes al­lowed was a bunt sin­gle in the fourth in­ning. He walked none, faced one bat­ter above the min­i­mum and al­lowed just three balls to leave the in­field.

Forbes called it the sec­ond best out­ing of his ca­reer. No. 1 came last year, when he took a per­fect game into the seventh in­ning against Hopewell and ended up with a one-hit­ter.

He be­came the team’s de facto ace af­ter Johnny Wal­ton missed a month of the sea­son with an in­jury. The Roy­als rode his arm through­out the post­sea­son, as Forbes threw 25 in­nings in six play­off games and al­lowed only four runs.

“He’s been out­stand­ing,” se­nior short­stop Tevin Tucker said. “He stepped up and took the

role of the ace.”

On Satur­day, Prince Ge­orge pounded eight hits — the big­gest of which was a solo home run from Evan Kozen in the third in­ning. It bunted, stole bases and played a nearly flaw­less game.

The Roy­als ex­e­cuted five suc­cess­ful bunts and stole four bases. In the seventh, Evan Kozen dropped a bunt with run­ners on first and sec­ond. Po­tomac pitcher Ju­lian Cumba tried to make a play at third, but he fired the ball into left field, al­low­ing Justin Starke to take third, get up and run safely home.

One bat­ter later, Kozen at­tempted to steal sec­ond base and got caught in a run­down. He darted back to first, and Po­tomac (187) tried to pick him off. The throw to first al­lowed Ja­cob Far­rar scored from third.

Prince Ge­orge’s at­tempts to bunt and run re­sulted in chaos from the Po­tomac de­fense.

“Small ball — it’s how we score runs,” Tucker said.

The Roy­als have more speed and agility than power. The strat­egy of bunting and run­ning fits the makeup of the ros­ter, Roberts said.

All nine Prince Ge­orge bat­ters reached base on a hit or a walk. Starke fin­ished with two runs and two RBIs. Tucker scored two runs and Quincy Sip­pio went 2 for 4.

“It was a great achieve­ment from these guys to­day,” Roberts said.

ERIC KOLENICH/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

Prince Ge­orge (21-3) cap­tured its first state base­ball cham­pi­onship with an 8-0 vic­tory over Po­tomac.

PRINCE GE­ORGE 8, PO­TOMAC 0

Class 5 base­ball fi­nal

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