NORCROSS - The Marietta Patriots (3-5) jumped out to a 3-0 and rode a solid performance from it's pitching staff to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Crackers (1-5) Wednesday night at Norcross High School.
Collin Teegarden set the tone early with a leadoff home run over the blue monster behind the right field wall at Norcross to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead in the first. Then, with two runners on, Nick Loffredo and Palmer Sapp then made it 3-0 with an RBI double and an RBI single respectively. Those were the only runs the Pats needed as Carson Weir, Jacob Hester, and Alex Watkins held the Crackers to two runs despite the Patriots getting out-hit by Atlanta 9-4.
"We really came out to hit the ball," said Patriots head coach Gil Navarro on the team's quick start. "Unfortunately, we slowed down after that, but the first inning is really what got it to us."
Weir (1-0) pitched six innings and struck out three, allowing one run on a sac fly in the second, five hits, and a walk with three strikeouts to earn the victory in his first start of the season.
"It's an amazing feat, especially since he didn't get a lot of work this spring," said Coach Navarro on Weir's productive outing. "What we saw tonight is what he's capable of doing, and it was exciting to see him get that done"
The Pats ran into trouble in the eighth as Austin Garrett led off the inning for Atlanta with a double and scored on a Dejhard Kimbrough single and subsequent error by the center fielder to pull within 3-2. Atlanta threatened to do more damage as they loaded the bases with one out, but Alex Watkins came on to pitch and promptly induced a third-to-home-to-short double play to escape the jam. Watkins then mowed down all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
"That's the kid that came to see me three years ago," said Coach Navarro on Watkins. "He's had a little slow start, but for him to be out there the way he did and just deal the way he did; that was special. That was really good."
Marietta and Atlanta will conclude their series on Thursday night. First pitch is at 7 p.m. from Marietta High School.