MARIETTA - Palmer Sapp hit his first home run of the season, but the Marietta Patriots (1-5) couldn't overcome 15 hits from the Norcross Astros (5-1) as they fell 11-7 Saturday afternoon at Marietta High School.
The Patriots (1-5) took two early leads in the game, first by scoring two runs in the first to take a 2-0 lead. After Norcross tied the game with two runs in the third, Sapp crushed his three-run shot over the left field wall to give Marietta a 5-2 lead.
But the Astros immediately responded with three runs in the fifth on three hits and a successful double-steal to tie the game 5-5.
Payton Eeles, Paul Grazzini and Nick Loffredo each led the Patriots two hits. Loffredo and Matthew Vaccaro also drove in a run, while Palmer Sapp drove in three on his homer in the fourth.
After both teams pushed a run across in the sixth, Norcross took the lead for good on a pinch-hit triple by Connor Kirley with two on and an RBI groundout to make it 9-6 Astros.
The Pats used a dropped third strike, a pass ball, a groundout, and an error to cut the deficit to 9-7, but Norcross pushed their lead to 11-7 with four consecutive two-out singles in the eighth.
Alex Watkins (0-2), making his team-record 24th career appearance, pitched two innings of relief and allowed four runs on three hits and three walks to take the loss. Miles Dutton (1-0) earned the win in relief for Norcross.
The Patriots play their next game at Norcross High School on Monday, June 17, to face the Atlanta Crackers. First pitch is at 7 p.m.