Local stars face off in Post 77 match
Local prep stars power Conyers Post 77 to split with Rockdale
The city/county clash in Conyers yesterday had nothing to do with taxes or jurisdictional issues; this one involved primarily pitching and defense.
The two baseball squads from American Legion Post 77 squared off in a double header with the Rockdale County team winning the first game 4-0 and the Conyers team winning the nightcap 4-3.
“Our pitchers did an outstanding job in both games,” Conyers coach Eddie Bagwell said. “We’re just struggling to score any runs. We didn’t get the clutch hits when we needed them in the first game.”
In that game, Rockdale’s Corey Harmon scattered five hits and pitched five shutout innings. Andrew Crumbley came on in relief and held Conyers off the scoreboard as well, fanning three and wiggling out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh.
Crumbley also scored the first two runs for Rockdale, singling to center in the top of the third and ultimately scoring on an error. Rockdale had two with only one out, but Conyers turned a nice double to avoid further damage.
In the top of the fifth, Crumbley doubled, and Dakota Cole drove him in with a single.
Rockdale added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Cody Wofford singled and then scored on a double by Harmon. Robert Bell then singled up the middle to score Harmon.
Conyers took an early 1-0 lead in game two. After Taylor Jackson got the first three Rockdale hitters in order in the top of the first, Seth Allen cracked a single to center and advanced to second on a ground out by Jeremy Sparks. Josh Bailey followed with a single, advancing Allen to third. Beau Thomas drove in Allen with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Harmon tied the game with a home run in the top of the second, but Conyers turned another double play to get out of the inning.
Conyers regained the lead in the bottom of the third. With two out, Sparks singled to center. Bailey followed with another single. Thomas popped the ball up, but the Rockdale infield couldn’t field it cleanly and Sparks scored with Bailey advancing to third. Bailey then scored on a wild pitch.
Rockdale’s Cole Peeples cracked a towering home run in the top of the fifth, to put his team within a run of Conyers and Wofford scored on a squeeze bunt by Harmon in the top of the sixth to knot the score at three all.
But Conyers scratched out a run in the bottom of the seventh when Sparks walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Bailey.
Both teams flashed some outstanding defense. Dakota Cole made a nice diving catch to rob Jimmy Gerard of a base hit in the second game, and Cole Peeples fielded what amounted to a swinging bunt and made a nice throw to first. Conyers shortstop Levi Bonilla showed excellent range and strong throwing arm on several putouts.
Beau Thomas pitches during Conyers Post 77's split with Rockdale Thursday. Thomas was one of several former Newton County prep baseball stars to have a hand in the Game 2 win.