Marietta, Ga. – Livingston Morris went 3-for-4 and sparked a five-run sixth inning for the Marietta Patriots (2-1) as they defeated the Gwinnett Tides 7-4 Tuesday night at Marietta High School.
The sixth inning again proved to be the big one for the Pats after beating the Atlanta Crackers with seven runs in the sixth Friday night.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth, the Patriots loaded the bases on three walks by Tides reliever Brandin Nixon (0-1). Morris then promptly smacked Nixon’s 0-1 pitch over the right fielder’s glove to the wall for a bases clearing double, giving the Pats a 3-1 lead.
“I knew that I had to do something with the bases loaded,” said Morris. “I was trying to be aggressive, and (the pitch) was there, so I swung and hit it pretty well.”
Later in the sixth, with two outs and runners on second and third, Devin Bilardello added to the Pats lead with an infield single that deflected off the pitchers glove to the shortstop. The Pats then added another run on a perfectly executed a double-steal to make it 5-1 Patriots.
The Pats pitching staff struck out twelve combined while only allowing four total hits from the Tides' batters. Starter Billy Brand struck out four while allowing one run on two hits and two walks, while Sean Fitzpatrick (1-0) picked up the win after allowing only one walk while striking out two in three innings of work.
Brandon Grover added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to make it 6-1 Pats. Both teams then scored in the eighth as Fisher added an RBI single for the Tides and Stephen Cullen got an RBI ground out to make it 7-2 Pats.
The Tides rallied with two runs in the ninth, but that was all they could manage as they fell to 2-2 on the season.
Both teams will face each other again on Thursday, June 14th at Marietta High School at 7 p.m.