ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta baseball opened its Region 7-AAAAAA slate of contests by downing two-time defending state champions Pope in extra innings March 7.
Alpharetta pitchers Sam Stratton and Charlie Goldstein combined to allow seven hits in the eight-inning duel, and Cameron Dorsey scored the game-winning run on a Pope error.
Stratton, a left-hander, started for the Raiders and pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing four hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
After six straight Pope outs, the Greyhounds loaded the bases in the top of the third inning with a single and two walks from Stratton. However, a Pope fly out kept the contest scoreless.
Pope began to catch up to Stratton in the fourth inning and took a 1-0 lead with two hits. The Greyhounds added another double in the frame, but a throw out at home kept their lead at one run. After two walks to load the bases, Stratton threw a five-pitch strikeout to end the inning.
Though Alpharetta managed just four hits in the game, the Raiders immediately answered Pope’s score with a home run from Bradley Rowlinson on the opening pitch of the bottom of the fourth.
Ryan Schipf also scored to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead after he hit a single and scored on a hit from Jacob Lassiat.
With a runner on, Goldstein took the mound with two outs in the fifth and Pope knotted the contest with an RBI single. Goldstein allowed just three hits with seven strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
With the contest still tied at 2-2 in the seventh inning, Goldstein opened the frame with a strikeout but followed with two walks. However, he struck out the next two batters to put the Raiders at the plate.
Though Alpharetta put a runner on in the bottom of the seventh, they were unable to score, and the contest went to extra innings.
Goldstein continued his strikeout stretch in the eighth to set up Alpharetta’s game-winning run in the bottom of the frame.
Dorsey hit a one-out single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Schipf. Pope then had an opportunity to send the game to a ninth inning, but Lassiat reached on a dropped third strike.
After the passed ball kept the Raiders’ chances alive, an error by Pope’s catcher allowed Dorsey to score the walk-off run and gave Alpharetta a crucial win to open its region slate.
The Raiders (6-2, 1-0) will continue 7-AAAAAA play this week against Northview, Cambridge and Centennial.