Pats Drop Doubleheader to Norcross

Marietta, Ga. – The Marietta Patriots (9-11) dropped a doubleheader to the Norcross Astros (12-7) Thursday night 6-1 and 9-6 at Jackie Smallwood Field.

After getting hammered in game one, Marietta rallied from a five run deficit to tie game two 6-6 before giving up three unanswered runs by the Astros.

Trevor Austin had four hits for the Patriots and also scored four runs, while Gabe Howell and Livingston Morris both had two hits and two RBI's.

GAME ONE (Astros 6, Patriots 1)

With one out and the score tied 0-0, the Astros loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before JD Dutka put Norcross up 2-0 on an RBI single up the middle that scored the runners in second and third. Another run scored on a single into left field by Freddy Achecar before Chris Rolick (1-2) plunked James Basham to load the bases again. Nick Wilhite then flew out to left field before Josh Johnston sharply hit a bouncing ball over the outstretched glove of Matthew Vaccaro into the right field corner for a base-clearing triple to put the Astros up 6-0.

Marietta scored their lone run in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Livingston Morris. The Patriots loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Norcross held on to earn their eleventh victory of the season.

Taylor Wilkes (1-0) pitched four innings for the Astros, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts to pick up his first victory of the season.

GAME TWO (Astros 9, Patriots 6)

Trailing 6-1 with one out in the fifth, Devin Bilardello and Trevor Austin singled to put runners on first and second for Marietta. A wild pitch moved both to second and third before Billardello scored on a ground out third base. Austin then scored on the same play on an errant throw by Freddy Achecar to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Marietta scored again in the sixth as Matthew Vaccaro doubled off the wall in right center and MJ Sasapan drove him home with a single into center field to cut the deficit to 6-4.

Gabe Howell completed the rally in the seventh inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Howell smacked a 2-1 pitch from Mitchell Krystopa (1-0) just inside third base into the left field corner that scored both runners and tied the game 6-6. Howell went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s in game two, while Trevor Austin went 3-for-5 and scored three runs. Austin also scored the lone run for the Patriots in game one.

Norcross retook the lead in the eighth as Nick Clarno reached on hit-by-pitch before scoring on a Freddie Achecar double and an error by Brandon Grover. Crews Taylor then led off the ninth with a single that set up a two-run home run by Kel Johnson to put Norcross up 9-6.

Marietta mounted one last rally in the ninth in as Livingston Morris singled, Gabe Howell was hit by a pitch, and Stephen Cullen walked to load the bases with two outs. But Cole Buffington (2) struck out Joe Stucky to end the game and pick up his second save of the season.

Marietta travels to Peachtree Ridge High School to face the Norcross Astros Friday, July 13th, at 7 p.m.

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