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  • Daniel Wilson

Banks Leads Atlanta Past Waleska

Waleska, GA – Charlie Banks went 4-for-4 and scored the go-head run un the top of the ninth to lead the Atlanta Crackers (2-2) to a 12-11 win over the Waleska Wild Things (4-1) at Ken White Field on Monday night.

All four of Banks’ hits went for extra bases as the freshman from Marietta, Georgia hit two home runs and two doubles with a walk to drive in four runs and score three himself.  He now leads the Sunbelt with three home runs and a .778 batting average in three games this year.

Jaden Anderson also contributed for Atlanta, going 3-for-5, including an infield single in the ninth that drew an errant throw at third base which allowed Banks to score the go-ahead run.

Waleska fell to 4-1 after suffering their first loss of the season and are currently tied for second in the Sunbelt standings with the Alpharetta Aviators.  Logan Floyd went 2-for-4 with four RBI for Waleska, and Cayden Sheffield and Cade Fuller each recorded two hits.

Cracker starter Gavin Mask and reliever Jacob Autrey each recorded four strikeouts, and Christian Harmon (1-0) pitched two innings, allowing one run on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts to earn the win.

Davis Williams (2) came on to pitch for Atlanta in the bottom of the ninth and walked the leadoff batter before settling in and retiring the next three bats he faced, capped with a strikeout to end the game and earn his second save.

Seth Darling and Seth Myers each pitched a scoreless inning for the Wild Things, and Niko Nevarez (0-1) made his season debut in the ninth but took the hard-luck loss after allowing the go-ahead unearned run.

Waleska struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Jackson Bradfield reached third base on a dropped fly ball in right field and scored on a single to left field by CJ Robertson.  Cade Fuller then drew a hit-by-pitch, and then after two strikeouts, Logan Floyd belted a two-run double to left field to make it 3-0 Wild Things.

The score remained that way until the third when the Crackers scored seven runs on fived hits, including a two-run shot by Banks, and an error to take a 7-3 lead that was short-lived when the Wild Things capitalized on three walks, a wild pitch, and another two-run double by Floyd to respond with four runs in the home-half and tie the game at 7.

Atlanta responded immediately in the fourth with four runs on a pair of two-run homers by Banks, his second of the game, and Kaleb Huffman to take a 11-7 lead.

The Wild Things responded with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the fourth and another run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-10.  The score remained that way until the eighth when Cade Fuller hit a one-out triple to the right field corner and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 11.

Banks then came through for Atlanta in the ninth with a one-out double to left field and scored on Anderson’s infield hit and subsequent error to put the Crackers up for good.

Down 11-10 in the sixth, the Wild Things had a golden opportunity to tie the game or take the lead when they loaded the bases with no outs.  But Logan Floyd struck out swinging, and then Hutson Miles came on to pinch hit but grounded into a double play and leave them empty handed.

Both teams will face each other again at Ken White Field on Wednesday, June 121 at 7:05 p.m.

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