DAWSONVILLE — When Josh Bryan returned the Buford dugout after his third home run Monday night, his teammates greeted him with laughter.
"They were like, 'Man, just go home,'" Bryan said.
The Buford senior brought that kind of reaction after an unbelievable performance as the Wolves turned the battle for second place in Region 7-AAA into a 24-1, four-inning blowout.
Bryan went 4-for-5 with three home runs, two of them grand slams, and finished with a Gwinnett County record 12 RBIs. It was quite the line for any game, much less one that only went four innings.
For good measure, Bryan also was the winning pitcher.
"Josh had a game for the ages," said Buford head coach Tony Wolfe, in his 17th season leading the program. "It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. He had a monster day."
The power surge seemed unlikely from Bryan, who hit just two homers as a junior and had one this season before Monday. The North Georgia signee also missed last Friday's game with a sickness that kept him in bad shape all weekend.
"The game before I popped out two to three times, so I was just trying to square up some balls," Bryan said. "Thinking back on it now, it feels great. I was just out there trying to have fun."
Bryan had plenty of help from his teammates, too.
The Wolves (14-3, 11-2) hit eight homers and tallied 22 hits, a surprising show of force against fellow 7-AAA contender Dawson (11-7, 9-4). Prior to Monday, they had just two home runs all season.
Just three days earlier, Buford managed just six singles in a 5-1 loss to White County, but the offense bounced back in a big way.
Russell Klein went 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs for Buford, while teammate Jake Mayo was 2-for-3 with a home run. Keyton Gibson also blasted a two-run homer in his first-ever varsity bat.