Connor Stutts sacrificed Zarbnisky and Pharr into scoring position, then Zarbnisky scored and Pharr took third on a passed ball. James Nelson’s single up the middle scored Pharr for a 3-0 lead, but Long picked off Nelson at first for the second out of the inning.
Jake Franklin singled up the middle, took second on a balk and third on a passed ball, then scored when Patrick Sullivan’s grounder resulted in another Gold defensive error. Tyler Daughtry walked, then Mason LeBlanc skied one into shallow left field.
Gold left fielder Drake Norton overran the popup, and the ball hit the grass. Both Sullivan and Daughtry scored on Gold’s third error of the inning for a 6-0 lead.
“In this environment, it’s OK to give up a run or two,” Gold coach Clint Littlejim said. “What you can’t do is give up five or six, and that’s what we did that first inning. We just made some critical errors.”
Franklin also reached on an error in the third, taking third on Sullivan’s double and scoring on Daughtry’s sacrifice fly. Franklin finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
While Gold dug itself a deep hole with all those errors, four Georgia pitchers made it even worse. The quartet of starter Kevin Smith and relievers Nick Sandlin, Connor Bennett and Nick Bush combined to pitch a six-inning no-hitter.
“Losing a game off the schedule, we had a little pitching left, which was unusual,” McDonald said.
Smith struck out six without allowing a baserunner through the first two innings, then Sandlin pitched a scoreless third and Bennett pitched a perfect fourth. Bennett walked Cal Castle and beaned Gabe Littlejim to put two runners on with no outs in the fifth, then a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.