DOUGLASVILLE - After a frustrating loss Thursday in the POW/MIA Tournament, Conyers badly needed a win Friday afternoon at Hunter Park.
Good thing Anthony Bazzani was on the mound. Bazzani dominated over six one-hit innings, striking out 11 in Conyers' 1-0 victory over Gainesville. The lanky right-hander had no trouble pitching in a stifling heat, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Ryan Avery served a two-out single up the middle.
"It was a great day to throw; perfect weather," Bazzani said. "Everything just seemed to be working, like, nothing could go wrong."
"Anthony pitched great; (he) did a great job of pitching," Conyers coach Eddie Bagwell said.
Gainesville starter James Mills also pitched well, surrendering two hits in six innings. Conyers put the first two runners on in the third, but Ross Roberts bunted into a fielder's choice and Mills induced a double play to get out of trouble. In the fourth, Cameron Gibson was caught stealing on a close play at second base to end another threat.
"It could've gone either way," Bazzani said. "(Mills) pitched well, too."
Conyers finally broke through in the fifth. Bazzani led off with a walk and pinch-runner Nick Matteen was sacrificed to second. Brandon Crumbley went with a fastball on the outside corner and drove it to right-centerfield for a run-scoring double and what turned out to be the game's only run.
"Anthony deserved to win," Crumbley said. "(Mills) was working away all day, it's right there on the corner and I just went with it."
"We finally got the big base hit that we've been waiting for," Bagwell said.
Despite throwing just 74 pitches through six innings, Bazzani gave way to Travis Tarleton in the seventh. Tarleton worked around a two-out walk to preserve Bazzani's gem.
"It was a good pitching game, that we came out on top ... very fortunate," Bagwell said.
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.