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Rowlett's walk-off single propels A's
Gainesville A's pitcher Will Rowlett delivers a pitch during Wednesday's game against Dawsonville. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times
Statistically, Will Rowlett didn’t earn a decision as the starting pitcher for the Gainesville A’s on Wednesday night, but he still won the game for his team.

After pitching eight innings with nine strikeouts, Rowlett hit a walk-off RBI single for the A’s to defeat area opponent Dawsonville Post 247 by a score of 8-7 at Ivey-Watson field.

“This was one of my best performances this year,” said Rowlett, who was 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. “I give credit to my team battling with me the whole game.”

Along with Rowlett’s heroics, Charlie Newman homered, doubled and scored three runs. Zach Bennett was 3-for-4 and Patrick Henry doubled and scored a run.

“Hopefully we can keep playing with the same intensity we had tonight,” A’s coach Clay Haynes said.

The intensity wasn’t with the A’s (6-1 Area) from the start, but rather with Dawsonville, who scored four runs in the first inning off Jacob Barr’s leadoff double, which was followed by RBI singles from Sunny Pham and Adam Hegkins and a sacrifice ground out by Kyle Lovell. Pham finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs and an RBI.

Gainesville responded in the bottom of the first with their first tally when Bennett singled to right, scoring Newman.

Dawsonville extended their lead to four after five innings on Greg Weaver’s solo home run in the third inning and RBI double in the fifth.

But the A’s came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning off Newman’s two run-home run. They took their first lead of the day the next inning after Henry, who had led off the inning with a double, scored on an error. After Dawsonville allowed another error on the next bat, then walked Luis Delgado to load the bases, Tyler Vaughn’s groundout scored Bucky Free and tied the game.

In the following at-bat, Dawsonville began to intentionally walk Newman, but one of the pitchouts slipped through the hands of catcher Michael Huber, allowing Rowlett to score and give the A’s a 7-6 lead.

“We have a lot of characters on the team, and they always find a way get other players pumped up and ready to play,” Haynes said. “They seem to turn on at the right time, and I hope they keep doing that.”

Meanwhile, Rowlett continued to keep Dawsonville off the bases.

“I was throwing three different pitches tonight,” Rowlett said. “I remained focused, tried to throw them for strikes and did that job pretty well.”

But all it took was a solo home run by Pham in the seventh inning to tie the game again, which remained tied until the final inning.

The ninth inning began with Newman being hit by a pitch, and Bennett being walked. With two outs, Free was intentionally walked to load the bases.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Rowlett hit a line drive through a gap and into left field, scoring pinch runner Andy Edmondson and giving the A’s the 8-7 victory.

“I didn’t think I’d go up in the last inning, but when I saw them walk Free to get to me, it gave me a lot of motivation,” Rowlett said. “I was looking for a fastball and he threw one right in my spot.”

Justin Fordham, who came in to relieve Rowlett in the eighth, earned the win for Gainesville. Hedgkins picked up loss, pitching five innings with seven strikeouts.
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