Pats Rally Past Atlanta 9-8

Matthew Vaccaro went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI. Photo Courtesy: Daniel Wilson/Wilson Action Photo

NORCROSS - The Marietta Patriots (2-5) rallied with two runs in the ninth and held on to win 9-8 over the Atlanta Crackers (1-4) Monday night at Norcross High School.

Matthew Vaccaro went 4-for-5 with three RBI, becoming the sixth Pats player in team history to record at least four hits in a game, and first since Noah Hill in a game against the Phenix City Crawdads in 2017. Payton Eeles went 2-for-5 with two RBI and extended his current hitting streak to five games.

Trailing 8-7 in the ninth, Collin Teegarden walked and Randy Guevarez reached on a throwing error on his sacrifice bunt, allowing him and Teegarden to reach second and third before Eeles scored both with the go-ahead single into right field.

Atlanta jumped out to a 5-1 lead on a pair of RBI singles in the first and a three-run home run by Cole Phillips in the fifth. A rain-delay then halted the game for 90 minutes before Marietta exploded for four runs to tie the game in the sixth.

With two runners on and one out, Matthew Vaccaro cleared the bases with a triple into right field. A wild pitch allowed Vaccaro to score as Nick Loffredo and Livingston Morris walked. Walker Hennon then grounded into a fielder's choice that led to an error on a failed double play which allowed Loffredo to score and even the score 5-5.

After Atlanta scored one run in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead, the Patriots responded in the eighth with two runs on a pair of RBI singles from Vaccaro and Nick Loffredo to go up 7-6. But Atlanta responded with two runs in the home half on a sacrifice fly and two errors on a failed pick-off attempt, setting the stage for the Pats rally in the ninth.

Ryan Whitener (1) came on to pitch for Marietta and immediately allowed a lead-off single. Whitener then struck out Jacob Boyd for the first out, but then walked the next batter and allowed another hit to load the bases with one out. That's when Whitener induced a game-ending, double-play ground ball to the shortstop to second to first to escape the jam and earn his first save of the season. Ryan Suppa (1-0) picked up his first win for Marietta in relief.

Marietta and Atlanta continue their series Tuesday night at Marietta High School. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

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