Posted: Saturday, April 7th 2012 at 7:52am
Baseball: Falcons make most of spring break, feast on Rockdale
By Morgan Lee Editor
Flowery Branch's Robert Rose catches during the Falcons' win over Rockdale County on Friday in Flowery Branch. / photo: Brian Oliver
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Maybe it’s the lack of schoolwork, maybe it’s the added time together -- whatever the factors, it’s clear that Flowery Branch baseball loves spring break.
The Falcons went 3-0 during the week off from school, capping the slate with a 13-3 win over Rockdale County in five innings on Friday in Flowery Branch.
“Last spring break our bats really heated up, and it looks like that’s happening again,” Falcons third baseman Keltin Devoe said. “Now we’ve just got to keep it up.”
Devoe ended the week on fire at the plate, including a 2-for-3 performance on Friday that featured five RBIs and two doubles. The junior’s first at-bat broke the game open for Flowery Branch, as he ripped an RBI double that scored Drew Miles, Chase Hulsey and C.J. Navin to give the home side a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the first.
“They just gave me a fastball right down the middle and I took advantage of it,” Devoe said.
Devoe’s second plate appearance proved just as effective, as he popped his second double of the game with the bases loaded, this time scoring Miles and Hulsey for an 8-2 advantage.
“That was a big spot for Keltin, big for his confidence,” Falcons coach Scott Myers said. “Our program needs that kind of performance -- it came at a good time.”
Devoe was far from alone, as Flowery Branch (14-3, 8-1 Region 8-AAAA) went 4-for-4 with the bases loaded, including an RBI single from Navin that knotted the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the first and a two-run single from Justin Seabolt in the bottom of the second for a 10-2 lead.
“We did a good job getting on base and when we got those runners on we did a good job getting hits,” said Myers, whose team scored six runs in both the first and second innings for a 12-2 lead. “Those guys at the bottom of the line-up really took their opportunity to shine tonight.”
Navin, Devoe and Seabolt -- the sixth, seventh and ninth hitters for the Falcons -- each went 2-for-3 during the night and each produced RBIs. Meanwhile first baseman Breck Davidson also dominated at the plate for Flowery Branch, going 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and two RBIs. The Falcons finished with 11 total hits and 11 RBIs.
The production was more than Flowery Branch starter Andrew Laur needed.
Despite falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first -- thanks to two errors -- Laur settled in and dominated most of the way, allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out five Rockdale County batters. Andrew Weekley pitched the top of the fifth and sealed the early win, striking out one and inducing a groundout for the final play of the game with two Bulldogs runners on base.
“We’re swinging the bats really well right now, so if our pitching comes through you’ve got to like our chances,” Myers said.
The Falcons know they will need the best from both ends beginning on Monday, when they travel to face Region 8A-AAAA leader Winder-Barrow. The Bulldoggs were undefeated in region play going into Friday, and the Falcons are aiming to leapfrog Winder in back-to-back games on Monday and then Wednesday at Flowery Branch.
“That’s going to set us up -- that would be huge if we could sweep that series,” Myers said. “If we can just win one of those games, that would guarantee us a spot in the (region) playoffs.”
“We’ve got to turn it on,” Devoe said. “But we can do it.”
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