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Rockdale cruises to big win
Post 77 crushes Alpharetta 15-4

CONYERS - Rockdale got an offensive contribution from just about everybody and Drew Rogers pitched five solid innings in a 15-4, seven-inning win over Alpharetta on Saturday at Henson-Carr Legion Field.

Alpharetta jumped out on top 1-0 in the first inning on Brad Mattox's RBI-double, but it was all Rockdale after that.

In the home half of the first, Post 77 went up 2-1 on run-scoring singles by Ryan Griffin and Cole Peeples and added two more in the second on Joseph Lester's two-run single to go up 4-2.

It was enough for the soft throwing left-hander Rogers, who struck out nine and scattered five hits in a 95-pitch effort.

"I thought (Rogers) did a great job," said Rockdale head coach Jack Murphy. "Our pitching is coming around."

"I think he looked good (and) he hasn't gotten a lot of work this year," added assistant coach Jason McElroy. "He likes to be away, away, away, kind of like Tom Glavine. We're going to rely on him heavy at state."

Rockdale didn't rest on its early lead, taking advantage of ineffective Alpharetta starter Cody Carpenter, who surrendered nine earned runs and walked seven in four innings pitched.

Post 77 batted around in both the fourth and fifth innings to pad its cushion. In the fourth, Griffin and Peeples were at it again, delivering consecutive two-run doubles, and, two batters later, Josh Stevenson roped a run-scoring single to make it a 9-2 game.

Stephen Drisaldi didn't fare any better in the fifth as Lester, Josh Flippen, Peeple and Stevenson had run-scoring hits, the last of which put Rockdale up 13-2. Nathan Fawbush added a two-run double in the sixth.

"If we can hit like that against above-average pitching, we can put up 10 runs a game, we're going to be tough to beat," said McElroy.

"We had some help, but we had a lot of good hits," Murphy said.

Since dropping both games of a doubleheader to Conyers, June 28, Rockdale has won seven consecutive games. Murphy and his staff are pleased with how the team has come together, just in time for the American Legion State Tournament, which opens July 23.

"Our guys are starting to feel good with each other; I'm pleased with where we're at," Murphy said. "I was worried about our chemistry, but we're coming together. I started feeling (like the team was gelling) last week. Winning always cures everything."

Rockdale (16-9) returns to action on Monday at Henson-Carr against Gainesville, then takes five days off before its final doubleheader of the regular season against Conyers on July 19.

Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at kurt.aschermann@rockdalecitizen.com