MARIETTA (0-1) vs. NORCROSS (1-0)
Monday, 7 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High School
The Marietta Patriots look to even up the season series against the Astros after Norcross won 4-3 on Opening Day.
Harrison Osborn will make his first start of the season for the Patriots. The right-hander from Point University emerged late last year as one of the Pats top arms, going five or more innings on three occasions and finishing the year with a 1.78 ERA, fourth best in Pats single-season history.
The Patriots overcame a three run deficit on Opening Day to tie the game 3-3 in the eighth before ultimately falling in the ninth.
Three Patriots made immediate contributions off the bench Friday evening as Nick Tiano, Walker Hennon, and Palmer Sapp each recorded a hit to help spark the Pats rally.
Marietta returns nine players from 2018, and the Pats welcome 20 newcomers to the roster this season.
Among the top returners on offense are Matthew Vaccaro, Livingston Morris, and Randy Guevarez. Vaccaro (.304, 1, 15), the Patriots top returning hitter, recorded a hit in a team-record 11 straight games last season, while Guevarez and Morris each played a pivotal role in the Pats opening round series win over the Astros. Guevarez blasted two home runs in Game Two of that series, while Morris batted in all for of the Patriots runs in Game Three to help send the Pats to their second straight Sunbelt Championship series.
The Patriots look to return to the Sunbelt Championship for a third straight season after two consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018. The Pats dethroned the Atlanta Crackers in 2017 to capture their first Sunbelt title, but fell short against the Brookhaven Bucks in 2018.
Coach Gil Navarro returns for his sixth season as the head coach of the Marietta Patriots, a position he has held since their first season in 2014. Under his guidance, the Pats have reached the playoffs in all but one season.
The Patriots will once again play their home games at Marietta High School for the 2019 season.
SERIES vs. NORCROSS
Monday's game will be the 19th all-time meeting between the Marietta and Norcross. The Pats are 10-8 overall against the Astros and 2-1 in the playoffs. The Astros took four out of six against Marietta in the regular season last year, but it was the Patriots who got the last laugh in the playoffs, winning Games Two and Three to knock off the Astros in the Sunbelt Semi-Finals.