FLOWERY BRANCH — Marq Kilcoyne’s final hit of the night went a long way toward snapping Flowery Branch’s two-game losing streak.
With Flowery Branch grasping a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on Wednesday, Kilcoyne smashed a belt-high fastball right over second base, scoring a run and helping the Falcons (8-3, 3-2 Region 8-AAAAA) to an 8-3 win against Lanier at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
Flowery Branch’s victory got the team back on track after dropping consecutive region matchups against Loganville.
“It felt great to come out and win this one,” said Kilcoyne, who finished 3 for 4. “I think after that second loss to Loganville, we started hanging our heads a little bit.”
After Kilcoyne’s fifth-inning hit, Bailey Godfrey added another run-scoring hit for Flowery Branch. The Falcons scored a pair of runs in the fifth, then three more in the sixth inning. It was a sound way to end the game, after loading the bases in the fourth inning with no outs coming away without any runs to show for it.
Flowery Branch dropped its two games against Loganville 7-1 and 6-2.
Kilcoyne said his three-hit night will hopefully go a long way to getting him out of a slump at the plate. He doubled to open the fourth inning and singled in the sixth.
Falcons right-hander Derek Eder earned the win in his first varsity start, throwing five innings and allowing four hits and four walks.
Eder helped his own cause with an RBI double in the first inning.
For Lanier, Anthony Valvo drew a leadoff walk in the first inning and came around to score on Chandler Burrow’s single.
After that, Eder settled down and got through the second and third without any damage. After the Longhorns put two on with just one out in the fourth inning, Eder induced a pair of pop fly outs to get out of the frame.
In the fifth, Eder pitched out of one last jam with two on and one out. With a 3-2 count, he turned and threw back to second for the second out. With the count still full, he got Marcus Milhouse to strike out swinging for Lanier, ending its rally.
“Derek battled out there for us and got out of a couple of bad situations today,” said Flowery Branch coach Scott Myers.
Jonathan Hughes opened the sixth inning for the Falcons with a single, his second of the night, and scored on Lanier’s third infield error. Deuce Davidson also came through with a sixth-inning RBI hit for Flowery Branch.
In the fourth, a golden scoring opportunity didn’t go as smoothly for the Falcons. With two on base and one out, Bailey Godfrey dropped down a sacrifice bunt attempt and reached to load the bases when the ball wasn’t fielded cleanly by Lanier’s second relief pitcher of the night.
The Longhorns dodged a big inning with a fly ball out from the next hitter, then retired the top two in Flowery Branch’s hitting order to keep the Falcons’ lead at 3-1.
In the fifth, A.J. Santiago pushed across a run for Lanier with an RBI single.
Trey Groves finished with a pair of RBIs for Flowery Branch.
On Friday, Flowery Branch visits Lanier at 5:55 p.m. in Sugar Hill.