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Heritage baseball wins third straight

CONYERS -- Heritage baseball coach Jason Borcherding summed up Monday's win over Cedar Shoals, and a lot of what the sport of baseball is all about with a simple phrase: "It doesn't have to be pretty, just find a way."

The Patriots did find a way, tying the game in the bottom of the seventh and taking advantage of a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth for a 7-6 victory in Region 8-AAAAA play.

Cedar Shoals, which lost to the Patriots last week 13-0 in five innings, grabbed a 5-0 lead Monday before the host Patriots mounted their comeback.

Heritage (7-14, 6-6) took advantage of four walks to score five times in the fifth. Cedar (1-18, 0-12) took the lead back at 6-5 in the sixth, but again, Heritage fought back. Down to its final three outs in the seventh, Israel Zackery, who on the night was a home run short of the cycle, led off with a triple and on a wild pitch scooted home with the tying run.

In the eighth, Anthony Williams led off with a walk and pinch-runner Jalen Martin stole second. On a sacrifice attempt, Martin came all the way around to score when Cedar threw the ball down the right field line.

"We could've given up early (but we) just keep competing," said Borcherding, whose team won its third consecutive game. "You go from run-ruling somebody one day to the next day, you're going eight with them. That's the way baseball is."

Heritage will try to extend its winning streak when it travels to defending state champion Loganville today at 5:55 p.m.

"We're going to go out and compete; we're going to do what we can," Borcherding said. "The best teams don't always win. It's baseball."

Salem got just its second region victory Monday, knocking off Clarke Central 9-3. Jason Howell pitched 5 innings of five-hit ball and allowed two earned runs, while Gordon College signee Zach Bailey had three RBIs and Tiwuan Head added three hits and two RBIs for the Seminoles, who improved to 10-12 and 2-10 in league play.

"We finally had some timely hits to score some runs; that is one of the things we've been missing," Salem coach Chad Kitchens said. "It was good to get a win on the road."

Salem hosts Winder-Barrow today at 5:55 p.m.

Rockdale got five innings of three-run ball from winning pitcher Kaleb Nieddu to help snap a brief two-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over Dacula in non-region play Monday.

Austin Jewell and J.D. Kirkman had two RBIs each and Will Hardy pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the save for the Bulldogs (11-11), who get back into Region 2-AAAAAA with a game at Morrow today at 5:30 p.m.