FLOWERY BRANCH - Sloppy play led to a big loss for Flowery Branch to Mountain View last Wednesday in Lawrenceville.
On Monday against the same team, the Falcons reversed their fortune, cashing in on five errors and three wild pitches to win 10-0 in five innings at Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
Four of those runs came in the fourth inning, when the Bears pitcher threw wild pitches to three consecutive batters with a runner on third, resulting in three runs.
The backstop at the complex is 30 feet from home plate. Junior shortstop Logan Conley, also a pitcher, knows how difficult it can be to pitch under the circumstances.
"I'm not a very accurate pitcher," said Conley, who watched two runners score during his fourth inning at-bat off consecutive wild pitches before eventually walking. "I'm all over the place, so I've experienced a good bit. It's kind of fun to be on the other side of that."
In their last game against the Bears (5-1), the Falcons (3-1) committed eight errors in an 8-0 loss. Flowery Branch committed just one error Monday, and turned a 5-4-3 double play in the fifth inning with a runner on third.
"Defensively, we played a lot better than the first game," Falcons coach Scott Myers said. "Scoring early helped us too."
The Falcons put up two runs in the first inning, with Conley and Keltin DeVoe scoring. DeVoe crossed home on a catcher throwing error when Breck Davidson - who reached on an error - stole second.
The Falcons also plated four runs in the fifth, with Conley and Jesse Brookshire delivering RBI singles and Brody Thomas ending the game early with a two-run double.
But it was the wild pitches in the fourth inning that blew a 2-0 game wide open.
"What happens is two things," Bears coach Jason Johnson said. "One, you know the backstop is a long ways back there, and two, as a pitcher, when the backstop is further away, you have the perception that home plate is further away too. We bounced a lot of balls at the plate tonight, and it's just one of those mental things that, as a pitcher, you have to overcome.
"Still, the plate is the same 60 feet from the pitching rubber and you still have to be able to throw strikes."
Mountain View baserunners reached third base in the first and fifth innings, but the Falcons defense and pitcher Chase Husley preserved the shutout. Husley pitched all five innings, striking out two while surrendering two walks and three hits.
Conley finished 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and run scored. Kyle Famiano and Andrew Miles each scored twice and DeVoe had an RBI single.
The Falcons play next at Riverside Military (0-5) 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"It always builds your confidence when you beat somebody this bad," Conley said. "But they beat us just as bad the other night, so we know we can't get a big head. We kind of had to learn a lesson the hard way."