MARIETTA - The Marietta Patriots rallied with two runs to tie the game in the sixth before falling 4-3 to the Atlanta Crackers at Marietta High School Thursday night.
Trailing 3-1, Payton Eeles was hit by a pitch, and Collin Teegarden singled to lead off the sixth. A wild pitch moved both into scoring position before consecutive singles by Paul Grazzini and Livingston Morris drove them home and tied the game 3-3. With no outs, the Patriots had a chance to do more damage, but JP Dobbs came on to pitch and retired the side to end the threat.
The score remained 3-3 until the ninth as Greg Collins (0-1) walked Reeve Holley, who then scored on Austin Garrett's go-ahead double that stayed just fair down the left field line to give Atlanta the 4-3 lead for good.
Seven Patriots combined for seven hits, including Eeles, who increased his current hitting-streak to seven games, but also struck out fourteen times with no walks at the hands of the Cracker pitching staff. Cracker starter Alex Butler pitched five innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits with eight strikeouts, and Crackers' closer Luke Sutko (1-2) finished the game with three scoreless innings and allowed only one base-runner with four strikeouts to earn the victory.
Pats starter Ryan Suppa pitched five innings in his second start and struck out five, but allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks, while Harrison Osborn pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Crackers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on an error in center field with one on and an RBI single. The Patriots cut into the deficit with one run on an error in the third, but the Crackers made it 3-1 in the fifth on an RBI single up the middle by Jack Connelly, who went 3-for-3 to lead the Crackers at the plate.
Marietta plays the Brookhaven Bucks at Oglethorpe University Friday evening in a rematch of the 2018 Sunbelt Championship. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.