Marietta, Ga. – The Marietta Patriots (3-1) overcame a five run deficit in the seventh inning to win 7-6 over the Gwinnett Tides (2-3) on a walk-off single in the tenth at Marietta High School.
Their come-from-behind victory tied an organization record for largest deficit to overcome and win. The last time they did this was on June 22, 2016 when they trailed 7-2 against the same team and came back to win 8-7.
“These games really keep you tight. They keep you working all game long, doing all different kinds of things,” said Pats coach Gil Navarro “It was exciting, though. It was good stuff. This is definitely where teams are made.”
Trailing 6-3 in the ninth, Gabe Howell led off the inning for the Patriots with a single through the left side. After Dickson Moscoso walked to put runners on first and second, Nate Stinson doubled into left center, scoring Howell and moving Moscoso to third. Matthew Vaccaro then drove Moscoso home and moved Stinson to third on an RBI groundout before Jordan Tylski’s 2-0 wild pitch sailed towards the backstop, scoring Stinson and tying game 6-6. That was all Marietta managed in the ninth as the game went into extra innings.
After Hunter Osborn (1-0) retired all three batters that he faced in the tenth, Tide reliever Jacob Tate (0-2) hit Brandon Grover’s foot, awarding him first base on a hit-by-pitch. The next play, Grover reached third on a fielder’s choice error by the shortstop before Stephen Cullen drove him home with a walk-off single up the middle, completing the comeback victory. Cullen finished the game going 2-for-5 with two RBI’s at the plate, including a solo home run in the seventh, while Gabe Howell went 2-for-2 and drew two walks.
“I just went up to him and said, ‘I don’t need a home run, I just need a hit,’ and (Cullen) said ‘I got you,’ and sure enough, it worked out,” said Coach Navarro on what he told Cullen before his walk-off hit.
Pats starter Nate Dupree was excellent in six innings of work for the Marietta, allowing only one run on two walks and one hit while striking out one batter, but did not figure in the decision.
Marietta took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a Livingston Morris single with a runner on second. The score remained that way until the sixth when Gwinnett capitalized on a walk followed by stolen base and an error on a failed pick-off before tying the game 1-1 on a wild pitch. The Tides then scored five runs on four hits in the top of the seventh to take a 6-1 lead. Marietta responded immediately with Cullen’s homer in the bottom of the seventh, followed by another run in the eighth on a Brandon Grover double after Trevor Austin reached base on an error, making it 6-3 and setting the stage for their furious ninth inning rally.
Marietta returns to action on Friday, June 15th, when the Patriots travel to Georgia Gwinnett College for the conclusion of this week's series against the Gwinnett Tides. First pitch is at 7 p.m.