SUWANEE - The Marietta Patriots (6-12) fell 3-1 to the Norcross Astros (11-7) Monday night at Norcross High School, spoiling a strong start from Greg Collins.
Collins (1-2), the right-hander from Catawba Valley, pitched a team-high seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts but took the loss as the Patriots managed just one run on five hits.
Paul Grazzini went 2-for-3 at the plate, and Leyton Pinckney drove in the Pats only run. On the other side, Justin Russell dominated at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and a fourth-inning triple.
Norcross jumped out front in the second as Russell led off the inning with a solo blast to right field. The Patriots tied the game in the fifth as Leyton Pinckney delivered an RBI single through the left side with a runner on second. The score remained 1-1 until the seventh when Russell cranked his second homer of the evening to put Norcross up 2-1. After Norcross added an insurance run on Ryan Cavey’s pinch-hit single with two on in the eighth, Sylvester Toe (1) came on to pitch in the ninth and retired the side to earn his first save of the season.
Jordan Krueger (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth and allowed no baserunners to earn his first win of the season. Astros starter James Boatright pitched four scoreless innings, allowing only three hits with three strikeouts but did not factor into the decision.
Marietta faces the Atlanta Crackers Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Norcross High School.