FLOWERY BRANCH — Flowery Branch High baseball coach Jimmy Lawler has to be pleased with the way his program handled early season adversity. The Falcons didn’t let an early three game losing streak in the Region 7-AAA schedule throw their season off course.
Flowery Branch (4-3, 3-3 Region 7-AAA) responded with its second straight win, knocking off White County 10-1 on Wednesday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex. The Falcons started the week with an 8-1 win against East Hall.
The Falcons won with home runs by Jordan Wilson and Bucky Free to draw even with the Warriors (4-3, 3-3) in the region standings. With a 24-game region schedule, Lawler knows that it will be a battle all the way to the end of the season for the coveted four playoff spots in 7-AAA.
"We had good pitching tonight, made the routine plans and hit the ball well," Lawler said.
James Mills earned the win for Flowery Branch, allowing six hits and one run in six innings. He’s quickly earning the status as the Falcons’ No. 1 starter, adding this win to his complete-game shutout against Buford in the season opener.
Flowery Branch’s starter stayed ahead of White County’s hitters all night and didn’t stray from his intended target. Mills finished the night with three strikeouts and allowed only two walks. "James did a good job all night of hitting his spots," Lawler saidd. "We don’t have the deepest pitching staff, so it’s nice when the starter can go six innings."
Mills is also showing he can field his position pretty well. On a slow infield ground ball from White County’s Travis Rutkiewicz in the third inning, he charged over to first to receive the throw from second in time to record the out. In the first at bat for the Warriors’ clean up hitter, he connected on a solo home run for their only run on the night.
"I was just focused on getting the win tonight," Mills said. "We swung the bat real well tonight."
Mills also got in on the offensive side of things. He finished the game driving in three runs.
Flowery Branch’s scored three runs in the first and four in the second. Falcons center fielder Brad Stone started both innings with a lead-off single. James Wilson had an RBI single in the first to score Stone, then Mills came through with a two-out, two-run single down the left field line.
In the second inning, Bucky Free drove in Stone from third. Then with two outs, Jordan Wilson hit his first home run on the season, scoring three more Flowery Branch runs. Jordan Wilson finished the game 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Mills was 2-for-2 and drove in three runs. Stone was 2-for-3 and scored two runs.
David Sosebee and Rutkiewicz finished with two hits each for White County. Zach Messmore, Luke Crumley and Adam Hooper each had one hit for the Warriors.
Flowery Branch plays host to West Hall at 7 p.m. on Friday. White County visits Pickens at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Jasper.