MARIETTA- The Marietta Patriots (1-3) rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game in the eighth before falling 7-6 to the Gwinnett Tides (2-1) in extra innings Thursday night at Mariettta High School.
Trailing 5-0 in the sixth, Palmer Sapp walked and David Minton reached on an error. A successfull double-steal drew an errant throw from the catcher that sailed into left field and allowed Sapp to score. Livingston Morris then drove Minton home on a double into right-center to cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Tides pushed another run across in the seventh, but Marietta continued to chip away in the home half as Nick Loffredo and Adam Alicea walked to lead off the inning. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before M.J. Sasapan doubled to score Loffredo, and Alicea scored on another wild pitch to cut the deficit to 6-4.
The Patriots then capitalized on six walks to tie the game 6-6 in the eighth, but couldn't bring the winning home as Alex Watkins, normally the Pats' closer, struck out swinging with the bases loaded.
After a scoreless ninth, Max Tracey reached on an error to lead off the tenth for the Tides. Ryan Whitener (1-1) then recorded the next two outs on a strikeout and a flyout, but the error proved costly as Tracey, who advanced to third on a stolen base and a pass ball, scored on a go-ahead single by Kyle Ayers to put the Tides up 7-6 for good. The Patriots had the tying run at second with one out in the home half, but Sam Cohen (1-1) induced two groundouts to hold on for the victory.
Nine different Patriots recorded a base-hit. M.J. Sasapan went 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks. Matthew Vaccaro recorded his 32nd career hit as a Patriots to move to fifth all-time in that category, and Walker Hennon extended his current hitting streak to four straight games. The corner infielder from Lincoln Memorial has recorded a hit in every game as a Patriot this season.
Ryan Suppa pitched four scoreless innings in his first start of the season for Marietta. The Pats pitching staff recorded 12 strikeouts, but five errors led to four unearned runs which ultimately doomed the Pats.
The series concludes at Gainesville High School Friday evening. First pitch is at 7 p.m.