CONYERS - For the second straight season, Heritage's perfect region record was erased by the Seminoles.
Salem picked up a big Region 8-AAAA win Wednesday at Salem High School, topping Heritage 4-1 and moving the Seminoles to 16-4 in region play.
Last season, the Seminoles handed Heritage its only region loss of the season, a 4-3 decision in extra innings.
This time around, the Seminoles needed a mammoth pitching performance from Drew Dentler to get the win.
Dentler fanned nine batters, scattered five hits, walked two and surrendered one earned run in the win.
"This was a big win. Drew Dentler pitched his tail off," Salem coach Chris Davis said. "You've got to have that bulldog mentality against a team like Heritage. They put pressure on you, but Drew was mentally tough and he's the type of pitcher you want in a game like this.
"They (Heritage) are a great team, a great program and they have a great coach. To beat them, you have to play really well, and we did that tonight."
The Seminoles loaded the bases twice in the first inning but could only get one run out of the situation.
With one out, Dentler singled and Dustin Dunlop doubled. After an intentional walk was issued to Jake Dyer, the bags were packed for Logan Singleton, whose sacrifice fly plated Dentler for a 1-0 lead.
Heritage's Ryan Cochran hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the Patriots' next at-bat and tied the game at 1-1.
Not to be outdone, the Seminoles bounced right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The runs came off two Heritage errors, an RBI double by Josh Bailey and a sacrifice fly RBI by Dentler.
Salem tacked on its last run of the game in the bottom of the sixth off another RBI by Dentler.
Salem plays again today at Clarke Central. Meanwhile, the Patriots hit the field Friday at home against Loganville.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.