LOGANVILLE -- Even down four runs in the top of the seventh, Grayson kept the pressure up.
Ahead a game in its first round playoff series against Roswell, the Rams entered the final inning down 9-5 and with two outs had a runner on first. Casey Collins took a ball off his body and Jeril Dawson doubled to score Jack Banda and bring the tying run to the plate. Chris Erwin worked the count, but the game ended with the bat in his hand and Grayson losing 9-6. The Rams and the Hornets are scheduled to play Game 3 today at Grayson at 2 p.m. with Banda scheduled to start.
"That's the plan," Grayson head coach Jed Hixson said.
And even after dropping Game 2, Hixson was upbeat heading into the decisive game today even if his team will be the visitors after losing the coin toss.
"With the way we swing the bats (home field) doesn't matter," Hixson said.
The Rams showed that power early in Game 2.
With two runners on and two outs Dawson smacked a three-run home run to centerfield. The homer came on a 1-2 pitch after Dawson strung the at-bat to six pitches. For the game, the senior second baseman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.
"He has done a great job down the stretch," Hixson said of his second baseman, who recovered from a slow start early this season.
Austin Meadows followed with the first of his two RBI doubles to give the Rams a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom half, things turned. The first six Roswell batters reached off of pitcher Korey Anderson and the Rams defense. Anderson gave up two hits and the Rams committed three errors before the first out. By inning's end, 11 Hornets came to the plate, Anderson left the game and the Rams committed four errors.
"There have been a few ballgames this year where we've been a little generous on defense and on the mound," Hixson said. "Anderson has been our No. 1 guy and he wasn't sharp tonight.
"We felt good, especially when we got the four-run lead."
Jon Briley entered on the mound and turned in four innings for Grayson, give up two runs off of four hits in relief.
But after the big second inning, Grayson couldn't replicate the success. The Rams left 11 runners on base in the game. Roswell left eight, but kept the pressure on Grayson every inning, putting the lead-off batter on in all but the first. But the runs slowed when the errors stopped. After the second, Grayson didn't commit another error.
"(Errors) established that big inning," Hixson said.
In Game 1, Grayson road the oustanding pitching of starter Chris Erwin to an 8-1 win.
The lefty Erwin allowed just one unearned run over a complete-game seven innings. He struck out 12 and walked just one.
"That's as good as he's been all year," Hixson said. "It's very good to see him dominate."
Roswell scored off Erwin thanks to two errors in the first, but Grayson answered in the bottom of the second, scoring an RBI groundout by Korey Anderson to even the game at 1-1.
Erwin saved himself in the bottom of the third. Roswell loaded the bases with one out after the senior walked and hit a batter. But Erwin struck out Roswell's Nos. 4 and 5 hitters to keep the game knotted at 1.
It was the next half inning where the Rams pulled away. Oscar Valdes started the scoring with a sacrifice fly and with two outs Casey Collins and Jeril Dawson each knocked in runs to make it 4-1. Grayson added its final four runs in the bottom of the sixth, chasing Roswell's starter Connor Johnstone.