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Miller shuts down Pats on diamond

Heritage’s Domenic Bazzani takes a pitch while Ryan Sutton leads off of first base in Monday’s game at Loganville. Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

Heritage’s Domenic Bazzani takes a pitch while Ryan Sutton leads off of first base in Monday’s game at Loganville. Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

Mitchell Miller was far too effective for the Heritage baseball team Monday. Miller tossed six innings of two-hit ball and a run in the bottom of the first was all Loganville needed, defeating Heritage for the eighth consecutive time, 4-0 in Region 8-AAAAA play at Red Devil Field.

Loganville (7-4, 2-0) swept the season series for the fourth straight year and hasn’t lost to the Patriots since a 7-6 setback in April, 2010. Miller was a big reason why.

The southpaw gave up a pair of singles and walked and hit Ryan Sutton with a pitch, but otherwise was brilliant. After Mille hit Sutton with a 1-1 pitch in the top of the third, Miller retired the final 10 batters he faced.

“Any time it’s a one run, two run game, that’s within reach. It’s just a matter of stringing something together,” said Heritage coach Jason Borchdering. “In order to beat good teams we’ve got to be able to put some runs on the board. Unfortunately, offensively, (Miller) was good, and we weren’t able to do anything.”

Meanwhile, the Red Devils for the only run they would need right away. Facing starter and losing pitcher Tyler Holcombe, lead off Logan Mattix drilled the third pitch he saw deep over the left field wall for a solo home run. Holcombe would settle in after that. The senior right-hander walked Austin Hendricks with two outs in the first for the only other Loganville batter to reach base until Brandon Williams doubled with one out in the fifth.

After Morgan Copeland reached on a bunt single, Cody Mixon’s sacrifice fly gave the hosts a two-run cushion.

Loganville got to Holcombe for two more runs in the seventh. David Chabut doubled and Chandler Downing followed with a single to open the frame and Hendricks’ sacrifice fly made it a 3-0 game.

Holcombe caught Royce Harrison looking for the last of his four strikeouts, but Brandon Moncrief ripped a double that chased home Downing for a 4-0 lead.

Heritage had lost the previous seven games in the series by an average margin of nearly nine runs, but Monday’s loss was much different.

“I’m proud of my guys, it was a competitive game,” said Borcherding. “Each game we’ve played up to this point (against Loganville), the last four years, hasn’t been competitive. (Holcombe) threw great and he’s been great for us all year long. He gives us an opportunity to be able to win a game. Our pitching has been good, we’re not there yet from an offensive standpoint.”

Heritage hosts Winder-Barrow tonight at 5:55 p.m.