Patriots headed to state baseball playoffs

DANIELSVILLE -- It took an extra day, but the Heritage baseball team is head back to the state playoffs.

Ryan Gasque tossed four innings of one-hit ball and delivered a two-run double in the first inning as the Patriots built an early 3-1 lead and defeated Madison County 8-1 in Game 3 of a best-of-three Region 8-AAAA playoff series Saturday.

The teams were originally scheduled to play Game 3 Friday, but after Heritage built a lead, the game was postponed by rain.

Heritage (18-8) missed the playoffs in 2011, coach Jason Borcherding's first season, but will travel to Region 7-AAAA No. 2 South Forsyth for a Class AAAA first-round series Friday.

Gasque also won Game 2, pitching three innings of no-run ball last Thursday in Conyers. He threw just 43 pitches in that victory, and with the Friday rain out was able to start again in the rubber game. Left-hander Joe Salvador was excellent in relief in the clincher, firing three innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts.

Wright wins two at Sectionals

Dontavius Wright had two of several big performances by local track and field athletes last weekend.

The Salem speedster won both the 400-meter run (48.00) and 800 (1:55.90) at the Class AAAA East Sectionals at Greenbrier High School.

The Rockdale girls were led by Rachel Cuffy, who won the 200 (24.61) and was runner-up in the 100 (12.14) and long jump (18-11.25). Also for the Bulldogs, Kree Clark was third in the discus throw (120-03) as did the 400 relay team (Chasin Gladdis, Mahalia Paul, Chazia Woolcock and Cuffy) who ran a third-best 47.87.

For the two-time defending Region 8-AAAA Heritage girls, Alayna Famble, who earlier in the week signed a scholarship with Rutgers University, finished third in the 400 (57.19). Famble's teammate Kiara Akporido finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, running in 15.05.

The girls state meet is May 3-5 in Albany, while the boys get together May 10-12 in Jefferson.