Heritage falls short to Northgate
Rally not enough as Patriots are eliminated from playoffs

NEWNAN - Heritage fought back in the bottom of the seventh inning to score four runs, but unfortunately, they needed five.

The Patriots were eliminated by Northgate, losing 9-8 in the second game in the second round of the Class AAAA baseball playoffs after losing the first game 4-0 on Wednesday.

"They were better than us (Wednesday)," Heritage coach Casey Teal said. "I've got to give our kids credit for making a run at it in that last inning. We didn't quit, we could've even up easily but they kept battling."

One problem the Patriots had was their lack of hitting.

Heritage was held to 10 hits in the doubleheader with three coming in the last inning of the second game.

"Cat(lan Kendrick), was better than us. (Paul) Rojas, we finally got to, but we got ourselves out swinging at pitches out of the zone, but we finally got disciplined at the plate and got better than him and made a run at it late," Teal said.

Ryan Cochran and Anthony Bazzani each had two hits to pace the Patriots.

Both of Bazzani's hits went for extra bases with a home run and a double.

Tyler Austin and Nick Woodward also went yard with Travis Tarleton getting a two-bagger.

Getting one hit for Heritage were Brandon Thomas, Kelvan Diaz and Joseph Lester.

The Vikings jumped all over Heritage early in the second game taking a 7-0 lead following their second at bat.

However, the Patriots were able to muster some offense of their own off Bazzani's three-run home run.

Woodward made it 7-4 with a rocket out of the park to start the bottom of the third.

After Northgate scored a run in the fifth, Chris Brewer tacked on what turned out to be an important insurance run with a sacrifice fly to score Sean Clayton.

Down by five runs heading into the bottom of the final inning, Austin made it 9-6, plating Zane Barefield on a two-run dinger.

With one out, Tarleton closed the gap to a one-run differential, scoring Woodward and Lester with a double. The tying run was then left on second as the Vikings pitcher struck out the final two batters.

Northgate was able to rally in the first game, scoring three of its four runs with two outs.

The first run, in the second inning, came as Kyle LaChance's hit into the outfield was bobbled, allowing runner to score.

In the third inning, Northgate was able to generate three hits in a row with two outs, including a Drew Tolbert double, to score two runs and make it 3-0.

The Vikings' Derek Hopper was able to score on a Conner Kendrick double with one out before Woodward retired the side with an unassisted double play.

"(Our seniors) did a great job for us all year. They've been through it. They know what it's about and we knew what we could get out of those kids," said Teal.

Northgate advances to the quarterfinals.