No. 1 Marietta slips by No. 7 Piedmont
Park delivers pinch-hit game-winning RBI in top of ninth
DEMOREST, Ga. -- Facing their second top-10 ranked opponent in as many days, No. 1 Marietta downed seventh-ranked Piedmont 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers finish their season-opening spring trip with a 9-3 overall record after the victory. The Lions fall to 14-5 with the loss.
Piedmont starting pitcher Kevin Caldwell (5-1) kept the Pioneers off balance through the first eight innings. Marietta broke the scoreless tie in the top of the ninth.
With two outs, Evan Brockmeier was issued a four-pitch walk and quickly stole second base. Braden Park pinch-hit and singled to centerfield scoring Brockmeier with the winning run.
Caldwell went 8.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Ed Cook pitched the final 0.1 innings for the Lions.
Marietta starter Michael Mulvey had a strong outing as well but didn’t get the decision. Mulvey went 7.0 innings and gave up no runs on five hits. He walked two and had eight strikeouts.
Austin Blaski (2-1) came on in relief to start the eighth and got the victory. Blaski worked 2.0 innings and allowed one hit. He walked one and struck out three.
Piedmont threatened in the third inning, loading the bases, but couldn’t get a run across. With two outs, Kyle Davis walked and Josh Bailey reached on an infield single. Curtis Cornett walked to load the bases. Mulvey struck out the cleanup hitter Garrett Lovelace to end the inning.
The Lions loaded the bases again in the eighth. Tate Koons had a lead off single and then Marietta couldn’t field the sacrifice bunt by Davis. A second sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third forcing the Pioneers to intentionally walk Cornett loading the bases. Blaski struck out the pinch hitter Kevin D’Antignac and got James Moyer to ground out ending the inning.
Blaski sent the Lions down in order in the bottom of the ninth for his second win of the season.
Bryan Gregorich went 2-for-3 for the Pioneers, while Aaron Hopper and Park had Marietta’s other two hits.