December 3, 2020

Braves battle top AA teams at Rockmart

(Rockmart, GA) — The Brave baseball team traveled to Rockmart Saturday for a doubleheader versus two of the top Class AA teams in the state and played well despite not being able to come away with a win in either of the games.

In game one of the day the Braves (0-5) tussled with the No. 4 ranked tournament hosts Rockmart and fought hard before falling 6-2 on a walk off grand slam in extra innings.

Sophomore Tray Owens was impressive on the hill for the Braves putting together the best starting performance of the season thus far. In six innings of work, he allowed just two hits and two walks while allowing only one unearned run and striking out three.

Caden Raines leads the Braves in hitting this season with a .386 average (Photo: Gary Jones)

Bryan Jones and Caden Raines each had RBI’s and Collin Wright had two base hits and scored a run. Freshman Leroy Marsh had a hit and a run scored.

The two teams traded single runs in the third and seventh innings before the Yellow Jackets ended it in the eighth on the pinch hit homer from Brayden Cole.

In game two, the Braves took on the No. 2 ranked Thomasville Bulldogs and again fell 7-6 in another tight, close knit affair.

Caden Raines had another productive game at the plate driving in two runs on a base hit while earning two walks.

Marsh added two hits and Tanner Collins had a hit and scored two runs.

Jake Harrod came off the bench with a clutch run scoring single. Owens, Jones, and Davey Raines also had base hits.

Coach Bianco called on six pitchers in the game including starter Bryan Jones who scattered six hits and a walk over four innings while striking out three Bulldog batters.

The Braves led 6-5 before the Bulldogs rallied for two in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead for good.

Bianco was pleased to see his team bounce back from an ugly 15-0 loss to Troup County last Monday.

“After Monday the whole thing we looked for was the team to respond after laying down a bit on Monday. Our guys responded all week with the best week of practice we’ve had so far,” said Bianco after the games.

“We don’t pull any punches with our non-region schedule and these teams today are teams we may very well see in the postseason. Today shows me we aren’t that far off. Would we rather be 5-0 and have a sparkling record? Yes of course who wouldn’t — but at the same time with these guys it’s about the process and getting better and better as we get to our Region 5-AA schedule.”

Caden Raines leads the team in hitting this season with a .385 average followed by Davey Raines at .333 and Leroy Marsh at .286. Raines also leads the team in RBI’s with five and stolen bases with three. Owens has tallied the most innings on the mound with 11.2 in three starts and he leads the staff with six strikeouts.

The Braves return to action Tuesday when they host Villa Rica (5:55 first pitch).

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