Rockdale overpowers Gainesville

CONYERS - Rockdale rode the arm of Nathan Fawbush and flexed its muscles at the plate in a 13-3 win over Gainesville on Monday at Henson-Carr Legion Field.

Fawbush, a rising sophomore at Walter Community College (Tenn.), took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a single and a two-run home run. The big right-hander struck out five and walked two.

"He got a little tired there in the sixth, (but) he had a good outing," Rockdale manager Jack Murphy said.

J.C. Dunagan, a rising sophomore at Toccoa Christian College, knocked in five runs in his return to the lineup. Dunagan ripped a two-run double in the fourth inning, had a two-run single in the fifth and hit a walk-off, RBI double in the eighth.

"This is the first time (Dunagan has) really shown it; most of the time he's pitched, and we use the DH for him," Murphy said. "He came from college ball and had not done anything but pitch, so this is really his first opportunity to get some action as far as swinging the bat. Last night was a big night for him. It was good to see him step up and have the kind of night he had."

It wasn't all about Fawbush and Dunagan on Monday night, as Cole Peeples and a healthy Cameron Griffin each had a big night. Peeples ripped a two-run shot to get the scoring started in the second. He now has six RBIs in the past two games after a four-RBI outing against Alpharetta on Saturday.

Griffin, making his first appearance of the summer after having a bone removed from his hand, surrendered a solo home run but struck out six in two innings.

"Cole is coming along, he's doing a lot better than we anticipated when we first asked him to come play with us," Murphy said. "We were looking for a guy to catch the pitchers in the bullpen and (had) not anticipated him being as good as he's been because he's ... the youngest player on our ball team and he's pretty much become a regular on our team. We put (Griffin) on the roster and have been carrying (Griffin) to hope to have him ready to go this season. The doctors have just released him to catch and throw a ball, (and) we think there may be a situation where we can use him for two, three innings."

Rockdale gets a long break before returning to action Sunday in a doubleheader against Conyers to close the regular season. The 10-team state tournament begins July 23 at Douglasville.

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