CONYERS — A wild pitch in the third inning and a walk with bases loaded in the fourth helped Buford Post 127 give Rockdale Post 77 its first area loss in an 8-6 10-inning game on Tuesday.
Rockdale had control of the game early, taking a 2-0 lead after the first two innings. But an injury to pitcher Cole Hamilton quickly had the Post 77 head coach scrambling to find another pitcher, as Rockdale only had one extra player on the roster.
“We still have injuries and guys that are gone on vacation, college orientation for college and things like that,” Rockdale head coach Demarco Hamm said. “We’ve been shorthanded this game and the last game. We haven’t been at our full potential on the field like we want to (be).”
In the top of the third with Hamilton out of the game, Buford got on the board on a wild pitch before tying the game on a sacrifice fly.
Rockdale regained the lead in the home half of the inning when Drew Buckhault scored on an error following a double. Cole Murphy doubled Post 77’s lead with an RBI before Jake Wright scored on a sacrifice fly.
Post 77’s final run of the inning to make it 6-2 came when the runner on second base tried to advance on a wild pitch. The runner on third base did not go home leaving the runner in no-man’s land. When the catcher threw the ball to second base, the runner on third ran home, allowing the runner in the middle to get to third base safely.
But Buford was once again able to take advantage of Rockdale’s lack of pitching depth as it made it 6-3 on a walk with bases loaded.
“That’s baseball, things like that happen,” Hamm said. “We just have to minimize our mistakes and hope for a better outcome.”
Rockdale’s bats went cold in the fifth and sixth inning as Buford’s pitcher struck out six straight batters.
Meanwhile, Buford was able to score off Rockdale’s plethora of pitchers, scoring three times in the seventh inning to tie the game.
Buford had a chance to win the game in regulation as they had bases loaded with one out. But Meisha Briem ended the threat by handing a well-struck line drive and tagging third base before throwing the batter out at first base.
But Post 127 again took advantage of Rockdale’s mistakes, scoring two runs in the top of the 10th inning after three hours, 49 minutes of play, handing Post 77 its first area loss of the season.
“We had a couple of errors and some guys playing in a position that they’re not normally used to playing,” Hamm said. “It was a tough night all the way around. I’m still very optimistic because we have a lot of guys that aren’t here that can really help us out.”
Rockdale will try to get back on track as it plays Loganville at home today at 7 p.m.