'We never gave up'
Rockdale tops Red Devils 2-1 in 12 innings

CONYERS - The Rockdale baseball team needed every hit it got to top Loganville 2-1 in 12 innings Monday at Rockdale.

Nakeem Forte played the role of hero against the Red Devils, smacking the game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th.

Loganville took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning off a solo home run by Chris Lew. However, Rockdale's Kevin Dawkins tied it up with a line-drive home run over the center-field fence in the bottom half of the inning.

The two home runs in the second inning were followed by nine scoreless innings.

The goose eggs on the scoreboard were due largely in part to the powerful pitching of both teams.

Buck Farmer got the start on the mound for the Bulldogs. He pitched eight innings, gave up one run on five hits and struck out seven.

Loganville's starter, Drew Payne, was equally as impressive. Payne gave up two hits and one run in five innings and struck out eight.

But it wasn't just the starting pitching that kept the game at a 1-1 tie.

Loganville's Casey Shiver came on in the sixth and was virtually untouchable for a few innings. At one point, he struck out six straight batters.

Buck Farmer came out after the eighth inning and was replaced by his brother, Mitch, who picked up right where his brother left off.

Mitch Farmer finished the game on the mound for the Bulldogs, allowing no runs and no hits while striking out seven.

Shiver was pulled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th for Clay Garner.

Garner kept the Bulldogs' bats on ice until the bottom of the 12th.

Tim Oh started the 12th inning by drawing a leadoff walk. Oh took second on a wild pitch and later reached third on a base hit by Bernard Thompson. Oh then scored on Forte's game-winning blast over the center fielder's head.

"It was a real fundamental baseball game," Rockdale coach Casey Martin said. "We never gave up. We've been struggling with games like this all year, but we finally pulled one out."

Martin gave credit to both pitching staffs and the defense the two teams played behind their pitchers.

"There was awesome pitching on both sides and both teams team played well defensively," he said. "That's quality baseball."

The win moves Rockdale to 5-3 overall and 4-3 in Region 8-AAAA play.

The Bulldogs have two more home games slated for this week. Rockdale plays host to Eastside on Wednesday.