FLOWERY BRANCH — April is starting out as a strong month for Flowery Branch. With Friday’s 13-3 win in five innings against Rockdale County (6-10, 3-7 Region 8-AAAA), the Falcons have won their first three games this month after winning both games against Apalachee earlier this week.
For Flowery Branch, it’s hopefully a repeat of last season when the Falcons won their first six games in the final month of the regular season en route to the playoffs.
“Last year, we started to heat up in April, and it looks like it’s happening again this year,” Flowery Branch junior Keltin Devoe said.
This final month of the regular season is especially important as Flowery Branch (14-3, 8-1) looks to secure a spot in the region playoff at the end of the regular season. Falcons coach Scott Myers said his team will secure one of those three spots from the North subregion with a win against Winder-Barrow (12-5, 9-0) in either of two meetings coming next week.
Flowery Branch took care of business quickly against Rockdale County. The Falcons scored six runs after the first out was recorded in both the first and second inning to build a commanding lead.
The reason for the big inning was the fact that Flowery Branch was a perfect 4 for 4 hitting with the bases loaded combined over the first two innings. All four of those hits came from the bottom half of the Falcons’ order.
“The guys early in the order did a good job getting on base and the guys in the bottom half of the order did a great job getting some big hits,” Myers said. “If those guys keep hitting like that, we’ll be in good shape.”
Devoe had the biggest day of any Falcons hitter with two hard-hit, bases-loaded doubles that went to the left field wall and scored a combined five runs. In the first inning, Devoe ripped an 0-2 fastball down the left-field line to the fence, scoring Logan Conley, Drew Miles and Chase Hulsey.
“They were throwing me fastballs and I was able to take advantage of it,” Devoe said.
After C.J. Navin put down a perfectly positioned bunt on the third base line to load the bases in the second inning, Devoe delivered with a two-run double off the fence in left.
“That was a big game for Keltin,” Myers said. “That’s great for his confidence.”
Also in the second inning, Justin Seabolt had a two-run single from the No. 9 hole, and Conley and Breck Davidson each connected on back-to-back RBI singles.
Trailing 2-0 in the first inning, Flowery Branch’s big inning started with a one-out walk from Conley and an RBI double from Davidson (3 for 4, 2 RBIs). Miles followed with a walk and both runners advanced to scoring position on a passed ball. Hulsey loaded the bases for the Falcons on the third walk of the inning.
Then, in the second, it was a one-out single from Miles and Hulsey’s walk, before Navin’s bunt single to load the bases.
Navin and Seabolt each finished with two hits for Flowery Branch. Five different players for the Falcons had at least one RBI.
“We played good team baseball tonight,” Myers said.
Rockdale County scored both first-inning runs on infield errors by the Falcons. Matt Ward had an RBI double for the Bulldogs in the fourth inning.
On Monday, Flowery Branch visits Winder-Barrow at 5:55 p.m., while Rockdale County plays host to Salem on Monday in Conyers.