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Henry's grand slam sparks A's in win
Gainesville’s Zach Bennett, right, gets a hand from third-base coach Clay Haynes (13) after Bennett’s two-run homer in the first inning tied the game at two during the A’s Wednesday evening game with Dawsonville at soggy Ivey-Watson Field. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times


Listen to Gainesville A's coach Clay Haynes discuss his team's 13-5 win against Dawsonville on Wednesday.
One swing of the bat, and the Gainesville A’s were winners once again.

Down by two runs, Patrick Henry hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to spark the A’s lineup. With henry’s bat as the catalyst, the A’s hit for 10 runs over a three-inning span en route to a 13-5 rout of area rival Dawsonville Post 247 on Wednesday night at Ivey-Watson Field.

Henry finished the night 2-for-4. Zach Bennett homered and scored three runs and Charlie Newman was 2-for-3, also with three runs.

"Lately, everybody has been really excited to be playing," A’s coach Clay Haynes said. "We’ve had a lot of energy lately, and it carried into today’s game."

The win puts Gainesville (8-1) in the top two of the area with Canton. They play a doubleheader Saturday against Canton. After losing to their area nemesis earlier this year, the A’s need to win two of their next four games against Canton in order to secure the area title.

"I tell my players to stay relaxed and stay focused, and hopefully we’ll come out on top," Haynes said.

The A’s found themselves behind early after Dawsonville scored twice in the first inning off Sunny Pham’s two-run home run.

Gainesville wasted no time returning the favor when Bennett hit his own two-run home run in the bottom of the same inning, tying the game at two.

Dawsonville took a 4-2 lead in the third inning after Jacob Barr scored on a passed ball, followed by Pham’s RBI single. Pham went 4-for-4, was one triple shy of the cycle and was also the only Dawsonville player with multiple hits.

A rough fifth inning for Dawsonville pitcher Adam Hedgkens quickly put the A’s back in the game. After Tyler Vaughn was walked, Newman singled to left, followed by Bennett’s walk which loaded the bases.

Henry then hit a high pitch that cleared the left field wall, clearing the bases and giving Gainesville a 6-4 lead.

"I just told myself to look for a first-pitch fastball and that’s what I got," Henry said. "As a hitter, something like that is always in the back of your head."

Dawsonville scored the following inning when Pham, who had a double, scored on a passed ball.

But the A’s offense kept their spark in the seventh inning where they scored six more runs off two walks followed by Henry’s single to load the bases. Lance Smallwood then hit an RBI single followed by Luis Delgado’s two-RBI double. Vaughn later hit another RBI single as the entire Gainesville lineup batted around.

"Sometimes a home run or even a double or a single is all a team needs to spark them," Henry said.

The A’s scored their final run of the game in the eighth inning off Bobby Wirsing’s RBI double, making the final score 13-5.

Bennett earned the win on the mound for Gainesville, pitching five innings with five strikeouts. Hedgkens earned the loss for Dawsonville.

After their weekend road trip to Canton, the A’s return home at 7 p.m. July 18 against Canton.

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