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Salem baseball walks off with win

Perhaps things are starting to turn around for the Salem baseball team.

Jake Rich hit a walk-off grand slam, capping a seventh-inning rally, as the Seminoles defeated Cedar Shoals 7-4 Wednesday in Conyers. It was the second consecutive victory for Salem (4-8, 2-1 Region 8-AAAA) over the Jaguars following a 2-8 start to the season.

"We've had enough luck go against us we finally had it go for us this time," said Seminoles coach Chad Kitchens. "I'm proud of the guys for not giving up. When you start out 2-8, it would've been very easy for us to fold the tent, instead what they've done over the last two weeks is we've really dedicated to practice. That's the reason we've started to play better."

After winning pitcher Eric Bechet struck out the side in a dominant top of the seventh to keep the deficit at 4-3, Salem loaded the bases in the bottom half with no outs on singles by Reed Hill and Jordan Scott and a walk to Zach Bailey. Bechet hit into a fielder's choice that forced a runner at the plate and Chase Duncan struck out before Rich blasted a 2-2 pitch off the light tower in left field.

"No-doubter, it was a shot," Kitchens said of the home run.

Salem played Habersham Central Thursday in Conyers in a game that ended too late for this edition.Rockdale tennis goes 10-for-10The Rockdale tennis teams didn't lose a match in defeating rival Salem Thursday. In boy's play, Patrick Sanders (No. 1 singles) won 6-0, 6-1 over Nathaniel Lockett, Trey Hull (2 singles) won 6-2, 6-0 over Josh Lustenberger and Jason Lauritsen (3 singles) won 6-0, 6-1 over Michael Worley. The No. 1 doubles team of Abenet Addisu and Anthony Adams defeated Eli Adams and Simon Velasquez 6-3, 6-2, while the No. 2 doubles team of Collin Shamley and Bruce Mitchell won 6-4, 6-1 over Anthony Lewis and Mario Heard.

The girls got wins from No. 1 singles Summer Walker, 6-1, 6-1 over Amber Cannon, No. 2 Ciara Chesser, 6-0, 6-0 over Amulen Wirsiy, and No. 3 Bianca Brown, 6-0, 6-3 over Jessica Lustenberger. In doubles play, the No. 1 team of Libby and Abby Bradford won 6-1, 6-0 over Michelle Armstrong and Vikita Valle, while the No. 2 doubles team (Brooke Tryon and Alliyah Byrd) defeated Abbey Adams and Annalise Vojnich 6-1, 6-1.

Bulldogs coach Stephen Sansing was happy with the dominant performance.

"I'm confident in our entire lineup," said Sansing. "That whoever we put out there can win the match."