CONYERS - Rockdale Post 77 broke out the broom Thursday night at Henson-Carr Legion Field, sweeping Grayson by scores of 4-1 and 11-3.
With the sweep, Rockdale maintained its one-game lead over Conyers in the North Georgia Area standings. Rockdale is 11-3 in area play, while Conyers is 10-4.
Against Grayson, Rockdale received complete games from pitchers Jo Jo Bonet and Nathan Fawbush. Bonet allowed one earned run in seven innings of work in Rockdale's 4-1 win in the opening game of the doubleheader, while Fawbush tossed a one-hitter in the nightcap.
In the opener, Rockdale fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. However, Rockdale took the lead in the top of the second and never relinquished it.
Clark Dickinson's two-run single plated Bonet and Joseph Lester in the top of the second to put Rockdale up 2-1.
Rockdale added a run in the fifth off an RBI single by Corbett Tucker, plating Jason Knight. In the seventh, Dickinson doubled and later scored on consecutive wild pitches to cap the scoring at 4-1.
In the second game, Rockdale went up 1-0 in the top of the second inning when Dickinson scored on a wild pitch.
Rockdale then broke the game open with a six-run third inning. The first run of the inning came off an RBI sacrifice fly by Lester, which scored Bonet.
Dickinson scored the next run of the inning on a wild pitch. The last four runs of the inning came off two-run singles by Marcus Smith and Josh Flippen.
Leading 7-0, Rockdale added another run to its tally when Kale Blackshear plated Lester with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
Grayson scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Rockdale tacked on another run in the top of the fifth off a sacrifice fly RBI by Marcus Smith.
Rockdale made it 10-2 in the top of the sixth off a sacrifice fly RBI by Dickinson. Grayson scored one more run in the bottom half of the inning, but Rockdale capped the game scoring in the top of the seventh when Bonet doubled in Fawbush.
Fawbush got the win on the mound. He struck out three batters and walked four, but allowed only one hit. All three of Grayson's runs were unearned.
Rockdale coach Jack Murphy said he wasn't entirely pleased with the way his team played.
"We just had one of those nights where we were sharp for a little while, then we lost focus," Murphy said. "The first game we were flat, but you're going to have those kind of things happen. Still, when you play bad and still get two wins, it ain't all bad."
Rockdale can wrap up first place in the area a few different ways. Rockdale will clinch first if Conyers gets swept by Douglasville today or if Rockdale sweeps Loganville on Sunday. Rockdale will also clinch first if both teams split their doubleheaders.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.