Updated: Jun 9, 2019
MARIETTA - The Marietta Patriots (0-1) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the eighth inning but fell to the Norcross Astros 4-3 on Opening Day at Jackie Smallwood field.
Trailing 3-0 in the sixth, Walker Hennon sparked the Pats rally with a leadoff single and reached third on a wild pitch and a groundout before Nick Tiano drove him home with an RBI single to put the Pats on the board. An errant throw by Ali Lapread during the next at-bat allowed Tiano to score and cut the deficit to 3-2.
The rally continued in the eighth as Tiano walked with one out and advanced to third on an error that allowed Paul Grazzini to reach safely. Grazzini then stole second as Matthew Vaccaro struck out, forcing an errant throw by Nick Clarno sailed into center field, allowing Tiano to score and tie the game 3-3.
But in the top of the 9th, Ryan Cavey drew a pinch-hit walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before Connor Kirley drove him home with a single through the middle on an 0-1 pitch from Alex Watkins (0-1) to put the Astros (1-0) up for good. Sylvester Toe (1-0) then mowed down the Patriots in the bottom of the ninth, allowing just one baserunner on an error to earn his first victory of the season.
Five pitchers took the mound for the Patriots and struck out a combined 11 batters, but also hurt themselves with 10 walks.
The Patriots return to action Saturday as they travel to Peachtree Ridge High School for the second game of their series against the Norcross Astros. First pitch is at 7 p.m.