River Ridge starter Brandon Smith is bundled up as he pitches against Allatoona on Wednesday. The Knights were able to keep the Buccaneers close in the early innings, but Allatoona broke free in the latter half of the game to win the opener of the teams’ Region 6AAAAAA series.

WOODSTOCK — Allatoona outscored River Ridge 12-1 over the final three innings to pick up a 14-4 road win in the Region 6AAAAAA opener for both teams.

The Buccaneers (6-4, 1-0) trailed 3-2 heading into the fifth inning, but they batted around in the fifth and sixth innings and sent seven batters to the plate in the seventh to pull away.

“Any time you can get off to a good start in the region when you’re playing another playoff team from last year, it’s good,” Allatoona coach Keith Hansen said. “You want to get that under your belt with a young team.”

It was a balanced offensive effort for Allatoona, which saw seven players combine for 12 singles in the game.

Tyler Schultz drove in three runs. Brett Blomquist, Bryce Thompson and Jack Lassiter each drove in a pair, while Taylor Schultz was 1-for-1 with three walks and four runs scored.

“We were battling at the plate,” Hansen said. “The first couple innings, we were pulling off some pitches and striking out with runners on. We got in a groove after that and hit some good pitches.”

River Ridge (2-8, 0-1) had its chances early but stranded eight runners over the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Diego Perez was able to come up with a two-run single in the second, and Hayden Duffield added a pair of RBIs to lead the Knights’ offense.

“We were in it for five innings,” River Ridge coach Scott Bradley said. “I felt like we had some good at-bats. We were able to get some runners on, but we couldn’t quite string together those hits where we really needed to. I think we see what we need to do. We just still have some work to do.”

Evan O’Brien got the win for Allatoona, throwing three scoreless inning in relief, with three hits and four strikeouts.

“I think our relievers pitched really well,” Hansen said. “We were trying to keep the pitch counts down to set up for the rest of the week, and they did a good job of coming in and throwing strikes.”

The teams will continue the home-and-home series tonight at Allatoona.

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