0422FBhenryAUDListen to Flowery Branch pitcher Patrick Henry talk about his grand slam and his pitching peformance against Gilmer.
That changed when Class AAA’s 10th-ranked Falcons defeated the Bobcats 19-6 on Monday at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex.
The Bobcats are one of Flowery Branch’s two losses this season, defeating the Falcons (19-2, 15-2 Region 7-AAA) 17-6 in a meeting on March 24. Looking to even the season series, every Flowery Branch starter had at least one hit for a total of 15 hits in five innings.
"We had a good plan and executed it at the plate," Falcons coach Jimmy Lawler said. "We hit the ball harder tonight than we have in any game this year."
Flowery Branch, winners of their last 11 games, remain even with Gainesville for first place in Region 7-AAA. The Falcons hold the tiebreaker advantage thanks to a head-to-head win earlier this season.
"We expect Gainesville to win out, so for us to win the region we have to win out," Lawler said. "That’s our plan and that’s what we have to do."
Despite the lopsided outcome of the game, the Bobcats (15-6, 12-5 Region 7-AAA) struck first, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning off a home run by Ethan Watkins and an RBI single by Chris Bradley.
The Falcons weren’t down for long, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Gilmer pitcher Jesse White walked three straight hitters, Greg Palmer cleared the bases with a line drive to left field. Travis Coxworth followed that with a double and scored on a home run by Jordan Miller. Miller finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Coxworth was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
White wouldn’t escape the first inning, picking up the loss for the Bobcats after recording only two outs.
"We were just trying to sit back on the ball and drive it," Coxworth said.
Gilmer scored two more runs in the top of the second inning, but were thwarted again as the Falcons scored another eight runs in the bottom of the second inning, beginning with Miller’s two-run triple and capped off by Patrick Henry’s grand slam.
"The grand slam was huge," Henry said. "I went up to the plate with a plan to hit the first fastball I saw."
Henry also pitched four innings for Flowery Branch, striking out four and picking up his eighth win of the season.
"When your team is hitting the ball all over the park you can relax when you’re on the mound," Henry said. "It’s awesome to have that behind you. It gives you a lot of confidence."
Flowery Branch put the finishing touches on the win with RBI singles by Danny Price and Greg Palmer in the third inning. Chad Rackley scored the final run on a passed ball by Gilmer.
"It’s nice the bats are waking up at this time of the year," Lawler said. "The bats have wakened up and the hitters are starting to see well."
The Falcons look to extend their winning streak to 12 games when they visit Pickens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.