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Patriots, Seminoles win on the diamond

Good pitching and plenty of hitting gave Heritage a win in its season opener. Luke Cathcart pitched 4 innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven, and Phillip Kelley and Ryan Sutton each had a two-run hit in the Patriots' 12-2 win in six innings over Stockbridge on Tuesday.

While the southpaw Cathcart got his senior season off to a good start, Kelley had a two-run triple and Sutton added a two-run single. Fred Umland added a pair of hits and an RBI for Heritage (1-0).

"Nice start for (Cathcart). It's always good to get off on a good foot like he did, kind of get into a rhythm, start the season off on a high note," said second-year Heritage coach Jason Borcherding. "It was good to come out with a win. We're a senior-laden team; expect those guys to lead like they did (Tuesday)."

Heritage continues its season-opening homestand when it hosts Woodland today at 5:55 p.m.

Salem's baseball team bounced back from a rough opener Monday with an 11-5 victory over Eagle's Landing in McDonough. Junior right-hander Garrett Needham went five innings, striking out nine and allowing just two earned runs to get the win, a day after the pitching struggled in a 14-4 loss to local rival Alcovy.

"We challenged him before the game to step up and lead," Salem coach Chad Kitchens said of Needham. "We needed him to go deep in the game, and give us a chance."

Freshman Jordan Scott made a huge impact in his first varsity start, collecting three RBIs and stealing two bases, part of an eight-steal effort by the Seminoles. Salem (1-1) has its home opener today when Henry County travels to Conyers at 5:30 p.m.

"We bounced back nicely after the poor showing in our first game," Kitchens said. "Hopefully, we can play well again Thursday in our first home game."

Rockdale opens its baseball season Friday when it hosts Douglass at 5:30 p.m.