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BASEBALL: Gates pitches a complete game as Cedartown beats Rockmart

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The Cedartown Bulldogs (3-1) used a strong pitching performance from Daylon Gates to down their Polk County rivals on the road on Friday.

Playing on a cold night, Gates pitched the entire game, allowing one run on four hits with 11 strikeouts as Cedartown defeated Rockmart 7-1.

"This was much better," Bulldogs head coach Shane Williams said. "They had embarassed us last week and for us to come back and win tonight like we did makes a statement. This is a big step for us."

After each team scored once in the first inning, the Bulldogs would add two more runs in the third inning and another in the fourth to build a comfortable lead that Gates made sure stood for the remainder of the game.

Cedartown’s first run came in the top of the first inning when Blake Oxenreider started the game by coaxing a walk. With one out, Jimmy Hand smack a double to left field to place runners on second and third. Oxenreider would then score on Caleb Ely’s sacrifice fly to left field.

Rockmart tied the game in the bottom of the first when Tritt Fennell singled, stole second and later scored on Luke Hembree’s groundout.

After a scoreless second frame, Cedartown plated two more runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Ely and a sacrifice fly by Brandon Cheatwood that scored Hand.

In the fourth inning, Kory Lindsey hit an RBI double to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage.

Neither team would score again until Cedartown scored three times in the top of the seventh. Carson Hatch had a two-run single that inning and he later scored on a throwing error by Rockmart.

“We did a good job of getting on base tonight,” Williams said. “We had a better mindset of swinging the bats tonight than we did the first time we faced them.”

Ely went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice and two RBI to pace the Bulldogs offensive attack. Cheatwood went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI sacrifice fly. Lindsey had an RBI double, Hand had a double, Harrison Barnett had an infield single and Hatch had a two-run single.

For Rockmart (1-5), Tritt Fennell went 2-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases and a run scored. Alex Baldwin and Dalton Gowens each had a single for the Yellow Jackets.