April 16, 2021

Braves split ‘Diamond Day’ openers at Alford Field

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Braves took the field Friday for its regular season home baseball openers during ‘Diamond Day’ — a round-robin of games featuring the Braves, the Model Blue Devils, and the Bowdon Red Devils.

Senior Brave Tray Owens on the mound Friday versus Model (Photo: Jeff Napier)

The Braves won the season opener over Model 7-1 in the first game Friday afternoon led a strong performance from senior Tray Owens.

Owens homered in his first at bat of the season and drove home three runs total with two hits. Owens also earned his first win of the season on the mound.

He tossed six shutout innings allowing just four hits and walking just two.

Leroy Marsh, Caden Raines, and Hayden McCosh also had two hits apiece. Marsh, Dale Thornhill, and Chance Brow each drove home a run, and as a team the Braves swiped five bases.

The defense was tremendous with no errors recorded in the field.

“It was a good start to the year for us in that first game,” said head Coach Trent Bianco.

“Tray Owens was really good for us. We did a lot of the little things right with small ball, hitting behind people, and getting our bunts down. We also ran the bases well and we played good defensively. It feels good anytime you can get a win against a good program like Model.”

The Braves fell 8-7 to Bowdon in the nightcap after battling back from an early 6-0 deficit to tie the game at 7-7 before the Red Devils pushed across the game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning.

Marsh, Raines, McCosh, and Jake Harrod led the way offensively with two hits each. Senior Dale Thornhill started the game and gave up six runs but only one was earned. Marsh pitched four plus innings in relief and Drew Cornelius tossed the final inning for the Braves.

“In the night cap with Bowdon it was packed and just such a good atmosphere. Coach Vance does a really good job over there at Bowdon,” said Bianco.

“We kind of gave them a head start spotting them six runs early with some miscues in the field. But credit to our guys they found a way to claw and fight and get back in the game and give us a shot to win it — that’s really all you can ask from a team right now is for them to not lay down and keep fighting. Dale didn’t have his best stuff, but Leroy Marsh and Drew Cornelius came in and both looked really good and Jake Harrod swung the bat real well.”

The Braves return to action this afternoon as they travel to Atlanta to take on The Lovett School at 4:00 PM. The team returns home to Alford Field for the rest of the week’s slate of games versus Class AA programs from around the state.

The Braves will host Coosa from Region 7-AA Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 PM then Jeff Davis from 2-AA Friday at 6:00 PM and Vidalia from 2-AA comes to Franklin Saturday at 11:00 AM. Jeff Davis are the defending Class AA State Champions from 2019.

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