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Balanced Patriots defeat Bulldogs
Gasque throws complete game, Sutton has 4 hits

Heritage's fifth straight win was one of its most well-rounded Wednesday as hitting and pitching both shined in the Patriots 6-1 victory over Rockdale.

The Patriots (9-4, 4-0 Region 8-AAAA) tallied 10 hits, while Ryan Gasque pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits.

The senior pitcher had five strikeouts, while walking just one Rockdale batter. Gasque allowed just four hits in the Patriots' first complete game of the season.

"It was the first complete game that we've thrown so far this season, and we needed it," Heritage coach Jason Borcherding said. "His breaking pitch was effective and as long as he's around the zone we had a chance."

Heritage opened the contest with leadoff hitter Phillip Kelley reaching base on an error by Rockdale's first baseman. After a single by Ryan Sutton moved Kelley to second, Dominic Bazzani followed with a triple to open the scoring. The next batter, Fred Umland, then put down a sacrifice bunt to score Bazzani. Sutton was thrown out at second before Bazzani reached.

Gasque then threw two strikeouts in the bottom half of the inning to go up 2-0 into the second.

The Bulldogs (3-9, 0-6) answered in the top of the second with a run of their own. Terrell McCoughlin led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a single by Matt Ward. McCoughlin then stole third and scored on a single by Phillip Anshutz.

Gasque allowed just two more hits the rest of the game. Rockdale left four men on base throughout the final five innings.

After a three-up-and-three-down top of the second, Heritage put two more runs on the board in the third. Kelly hit a one-out single, and after reaching third base, scored on a wild pitch. Umland, who reached on a single, moved to third on the same wild pitch. Umland scored on an RBI single by Sutton.

Sutton scored once, and hit safely in each of his four at bats.

"He's finally starting to come around for us," Borcherding said. "He's a young guy and we moved him around but he's finally starting to find a home."

 Umland had two RBI on two hits, Bazzini had two hits with a run and an RBI and Kelly scored three times with and tallied one hit.

Heritage added its final two runs in the fifth inning, starting with a Jordan Martin leadoff single. Martin then stole second and third before scoring on an error by the catcher on a throw to third. Kelly, the batter after Martin, reached on a walk and, after stealing second, scored on a 4-6-3 double play by the Bulldogs.

McCoughlin had one hit and the Bulldogs' only run in Rockdale's seventh straight loss. Rockdale hosts Madison County on Friday.

Heritage, which won its fifth straight game, hosts Winder-Barrow Friday.