Behind Forbes One-Hit Shut Out, Royals Defeat Panthers 8-0
Junior Buck Forbes winds up to throw what possibly could be the final pitch of the game. The ball paints the outer half of the plate and pops junior catcher Justin Starke’s mitt as the batter swings and misses. Seconds later Forbes and Starke find themselves on the bottom of a dogpile of teammates.
Forbes’s one-hitter lead the Royals to an 8-0 win over Potomac for the Class 5 State Title. This is the first time in Prince George High School’s history that baseball has ever won a state title.
“He played a big role, I mean it was almost a perfect game with only one hit, which was only a bunt. I mean with him on the mound, we felt unstoppable. He is just our ace. And we know that he was able to get the guys out,” senior Shane Cooper said.
The first inning normally sets the tone for the rest of the game and for the Royals this was true. They were able to gain a 1-0 edge when senior Tevin Tucker who scored on Justin Starke’s sacrifice ground ball.
“The first inning when we scored the first run. I think we all knew we had it if we would just stay locked in. After we scored that first run it was like, we could get this guy out of the game quick and get the runs we needed,” Cooper said.
“The most intense part about the game was when the first pitch was thrown in the first inning. We had to jump on them early and we did,” senior Evan Kozen said.
In the top of the third inning, senior Evan Kozen stepped up to the plate with a new pitcher on the mound. Kozen watched one strike go by and then sent the next pitch over the left field fence to increase the Royals lead to 5-0.
“The most intense moment of the game was when Evan hit the home run because it got everyone on the team fired up,” Forbes said.
Making it to the state tournament requires a lot of practice and preparation on both the coaching staff and the players’ part.
“[We worked on] Everything. Coach has had us practicing from 3-5 every day. Bunting, pitching, batting practice and whatever else coach thought we might encounter is what he had us doing,” Cooper said.
For the seven seniors on the team this is the most memorable and amazing way to leave. But they will not leave with just a state title under their belt. They will also leave with things far more important- memories, knowledge, and a family bond.
“[I will take away] working as a team and being a family. Without them, I never could’ve done it by myself. My boys helped me get through this,” Cooper said.
“I’m taking away something Prince George High School has never done before which is winning a state title. I’m also taking away how to play the game right and with my head, which I have learned from all my coaches,” Kozen said.
The Royals ended their season with a 21-3 record.