Mullins' home run starts rally in Brookwood win

SNELLVILLE -- Normally, a leadoff hitter doesn't start a rally with a home run.

But Brookwood's Cedric Mullins is no ordinary leadoff hitter. He hit a solo home run to get a five-run inning going as the Broncos defeated rival Parkview 5-2 on Saturday.

The Broncos went into the bottom of the sixth down 2-0, struggling all day at the plate. They only garnered two hits off Parkview starter Jesse Foster.

Then, with one out, Mullins stepped up and fouled off two pitches with a 0-2 count, before smashing a pitch over the left-center field wall to cut the Parkview lead in half.

"I tell you, that was a great at-bat by Cedric," Brookwood head coach Rick Howard said. "We struggled to get hits throughout the game and we needed someone to step up."

Lucas Sims was equally as impressive on the mound, pitching a complete game with two hits and three strikeouts.

After Mullins' home run, the Broncos (11-7, 7-3) continued the rally as Jordan Dykes doubled down the left-field line, knocking Foster out of the game.

Jack Esmonde came in for the Panthers to halt the rally, but there was no stopping the Broncos.

Michael Gouge hit Esmonde's first pitch for an RBI single, taking second and third on a throwing error by Foster, who went to left field after being taken out at pitcher.

Ryan Woodard stepped up next and blasted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Gouge to give the Broncos a 3-2 lead.

Sims came up next and singled to center field with Clint Carr walking to put runners on first and second. Three passed balls later, two more runs had scored to give the Broncos their final runs of the game.

"We talked about getting more aggressive with our base-running all week," Howard said. "The guys executed well."

Parkview (15-4, 9-1) tallied two unearned runs in the top of the third, taking advantage of two errors to score its runs.

Josh Hart, who reached on a fielder's choice ground out, went to second on a walk to Edwin Arias, with a sacrifice ground out by Matt Olson moving the runners up another base. An RBI infield single by Jeff Ronpirin gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Then, with runners on first and third, Ronpirin took a delayed steal to second, getting himself in a "pickle" giving Arias a shot at sliding into home plate, which he did safely as the ball scooted past the catcher, allowing Ronpirin to take third on the play as well.

However, that was all Parkview could muster at the plate the rest of the game as Sims retired the final 12 batters of the game, including the sixth inning in which he only threw three pitches to get three outs.

"It was like boom, boom, boom," Howard said. "We got the outs quickly and got back in the dugout. That helped set up the bottom half of the inning."

Even with the loss, Parkview stays atop Region 8-AAAAA with only one loss, while the Broncos have three losses. The two teams will meet again on April 23 at Parkview.