Norcross, Ga. - The Marietta Patriots pulled within 3-2 in the fifth inning before getting shut down by the Atlanta Cracker bullpen in a 7-2 defeat Monday night at Norcross High School.
With the loss, Marietta fell to 8-9 while the Atlanta Crackers improved to 10-7 on the year.
Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, Brandon Grover walked to lead off the inning before moving to third on a double by Livingston Morris. Gabe Howell then popped out to second base before Stephen Cullen drove Grover home with an RBI ground out to cut the deficit to 3-1. Joe Stucky then struck out looking to end the inning.
Marietta struck again in the fifth as Matthew Vaccaro drew a hit-by-pitch to lead off the inning. A pass ball moved Vaccaro to second with two outs. Trey Vanderpool then reached on a throwing error that scored Vaccaro, reducing the deficit to 3-2. But Vanderpool twisted his ankle at second and was caught off base to end the inning. From there, the Patriots managed just one hit as the Cracker bullpen shut them out for the remainder of the game.
Brock Carter (2-1) picked up the victory after allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts before turning it over to his bullpen in the sixth. Sean Fitzpatrick (2-2) picked up the loss after allowing three runs by the Crackers in the first inning.
Atlanta added two runs the seventh on a bases-loaded wild pitch and a sacrifice fly, increasing their lead to 5-2. The Crackers then made it 7-2 in the eighth on an RBI single by Jacob Garner and an error by Randy Guevarez.
The Patriots travel to Peachtree Ridge High School on Tuesday, July 10th, to face the Norcross Astros. First pitch is at 7 p.m.