The beginning of the longest home stand of the season has not started as desired for the Gainesville A’s.
The A’s lost their second of seven straight home games with a 13-10 defeat to Alpharetta American Legion Post 201 on Wednesday at Ivey-Watson Field.
Despite only a three-run deficit, Gainesville (8-13) was unable to tame Alpharetta’s hitting, which produced 19 total hits, more than twice that of the A’s, who had nine.
“It’s hard to defend 17 or 18 hits, or however many they had,” Gainesville coach Clay Haynes said. “Whenever someone is getting that many hits, they’re doing something right.”
Defensive issues for both teams also assisted in the slugging contest, as Alpharetta had six errors while Gainesville had five.
It was those errors that allowed the A’s to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning after a missed throw at third base allowed Bucky Free to score, while James Wilson came home on a wild pitch. Trey Pinson also scored on sacrifice groundout by Max Everitt.
Alpharetta answered with four runs over the next two innings, highlighted by Will Cioffi’s two-run home run in the third inning that gave Alpharetta a 4-3 lead. Cioffi was 2-for-4 with three runs and four RBIs on the night.
Trey Pinson tied the game in bottom of the third with a home run of his own, connecting on a pitch by Cody Carpenter that sailed over the left field wall. Pinson finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs. The North Hall High graduate and Free, who also had two hits, were the only Gainesville players with multiple hits.
Alpharetta regained its lead with three runs in the fourth inning, led by Cioffi’s RBI triple.
As in the previous inning, the A’s immediately took away Alpharetta’s lead, batting around the order and scoring four runs to take an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Two runs were scored on a missed throw at second base, followed by a wild pitch that scored Wilson and tied the game.
Max Everitt hit an RBI single to score Pinson and give Gainesville the lead. Everitt had two RBIs and a run scored in the game.
Gainesville’s scoring production halted after the fourth inning, stopped by Skinner, who entered the game in the fifth and pitched four scoreless innings.
Alpharetta supported Skinner with four runs over the next four innings, increasing its lead to four entering the ninth inning, where it added two more runs with Skinner’s RBI double. Skinner finished the night 3-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs.
“We have to cut down on them getting hits and we have to hit,” Haynes said. “I don’t know what our batting average is as a team, but it can’t be that good.”
The A’s final attempt to rally in the ninth inning resulted in two runs, fueled by an RBI single by Ryan Farmer and a run scored on a wild pitch.
“We tried to come back there in the end, but it’s always hard to put up five runs in an inning,” Haynes said.
Ackerman also took the loss on the mound for Gainesville, but still struck out nine hitters in five innings pitched.
“Cody Ackerman threw really well tonight,” Haynes said.
The A’s look for their first home win since June 27 when they plays host to Dawsonville Post 247 at 7 tonight. Dawsonville won the last meeting 11-1 on Monday. Everitt is scheduled to start on the mound.
“Hopefully we can come out ready to play and maybe we can turn things around,” Haynes said.