MARIETTA - Livingston Morris homered twice in Game 2, but the Marietta Patriots (6-11) dropped both ends of a doubleheader to the Norcross Astros (10-7), 12-1 and 9-8 Tuesday at Marietta High School.
For Morris, his two homers tied a team record for most home runs in a game as he became the fourth Pats player to accomplish this feat. The rising junior from Georgia Gwinnett is currently second in the Sunbelt with three home runs on the season, and also moved to fourth all-time in career home runs for the Patriots with four.
Walker Hennon managed the Patriots only hits in Game 1 as he went 2-for-3 at the plate. Nick Tiano and M.J. Sasapan also contributed on offense with two hits in Game 2.
GAME ONE: Norcross 12, Marietta 1 (8)
The Astros jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the second on four hits and three crucial errors which led to three unearned runs. The Pats scored their lone run on Randy Guevarez's sacrifice fly in the fifth, but Norcross capitalized on another error, two stolen bases and a wild pitch to make it 7-1 in the home half.
The Astros scratched across two more runs in the sixth on Nick Clarno's RBI single into center field, and then added one more run in the seventh before Justin Russell blasted a walk-off two-run homer in the eighth to complete the run-rule victory in the eighth.
Rafael Acosta (2-0) pitched five innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts to earn the win.
GAME TWO: Norcross 9, Marietta 8 (7)
After Norcross took a 1-0 lead in the first, Marietta loaded the bases with one out in the home half before Paul Grazzini delivered a two-run single into right field to give Marietta a 2-1 lead. M.J. Sasapan then made it 3-1 with another RBI single into right field. But the lead was short-lived as Norcross capitalized on two walks, two wild pitches, and a pass ball to tie the game 3-3 in the second before Justin Russell blasted the go-ahead, two-run shot over the right field wall for his second home run of the day to make it 5-3 Astros.
After Norcross scored three runs in the third, the Pats mounted their rally as Livingston Morris hit the first of his two home runs in the home half to cut the deficit to 8-4. The rally continued as Marietta scored a run in the fourth and fifth to make it 8-6.
The Astros increased their lead to 9-6 in the sixth as Gregory Wozniak smacked a pinch-hit solo home run over the left field foul pole that was ruled fair by the umpires. But Marietta responded in the home half with a run on a dropped third strike to make it 9-7.
The Patriots had one last chance in the seventh as Morris blasted his second homer to make it 9-8, and Leyton Pinckney then reached on an error by the third basemen. Paul Grazzini flew out to right field for the first out, and then M.J. Sasapan advanced Pinckney to third with a single up the middle, but was gunned out at second base for the second out. Jordan Krueger then came on to pitch in his second appearance of the day and induced a line-out from Walker Hennon to end the rally and earn his first save of the season.
The Patriots are off until Monday, July 8 when they conclude their season series with the Norcross Astros at Peachtree Ridge High School. First pitch is at 7 p.m.