by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
AIKEN, S.C. – The No. 19 baseball team at Georgia College & State University (16-10, 8-3 PBC) continues to take the top teams in the country to the limit. One week after sweeping No. 5 Columbus State University, the Bobcats split a doubleheader with Peach Belt Conference opponent and No. 7 USC Aiken (22-9, 11-3 PBC).
In a matchup of the top teams in the PBC east and west divisions, The west leading Bobcats fell 7-5 to the Pacers in game one while getting revenge in game two 8-1.
Georgia College leftfielder Kyle Allen (Conyers, Ga.) and shortstop ChandlerSnell (Loganville, Ga.) led the Bobcats, both accumulating four hits in the two-game set. Allen and Snell went 2-for-4 in game one as Allen scored a run and Snell scored twice.
Reigning PBC and Georgia College Athlete of the Week Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.) led the team with two RBI in the first game. The senior centerfielder went 1-for-4 and scored a run, leading the team with 44 hits and 37 runs on the 2010 campaign.
Designated hitter Steve Muoio (Rochester, N.Y.) also had two hits and an RBI for the ‘Cats, returning to the lineup for the first time since March 14. Third baseman Brett George (Dacula, Ga.) and first baseman Matt Pitts (Brunswick, Ga.) each had one hit and tallied an RBI for Georgia College.
Ryan Tabor (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was credited with the loss for Georgia College as the senior lefty falls to 0-4 on the season. After RBI singles from Harrell and Pitts in the eighth gave the Bobcats a 5-3 lead, the Pacers rallied with four runs of their own in the bottom half for the win.
USC Aiken had six different batters with two hits. Preseason all-conference player Travis Howard added two RBI on an eighth inning single, and teammate Jowan Gray also drove home two.
The Pacers’ Steven Owens went seven innings, struck out nine and allowed five runs in the start, but it was reliever Tyler Stephan (3-1) who got the victory. Chad Benefield got the remaining three outs of the game to get the save, his fifth.
Game two saw five different Bobcats record two hits each. Allen, Pitts and rightfielder Shawn Ward (Martinez, Ga.) all had two hits and an RBI apiece, while Snell went 2-for-4 with two driven in and two runs. Third baseman Drew Goodman (Kennewick, Wash.) went 2-for-3. Pitts has a team-best 37 RBI on the year.
Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany) moved to 6-1 on the year as the righty pitched his third complete game of the season. The senior recorded nine strikeouts and allowed only one run as Georgia College defeated the Pacers 8-1. Dewald has 51 strikeouts in 47 innings of work this season, both team-highs. Thomas McLeod went 5 and 1/3 innings allowing the first four runs to record the loss.
Alex Franklin led USC Aiken at the plate, going 3-for-4.
Down 1-0, the Bobcats scored seven runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to overtake the game. The big blow was a two-run triple by Snell in the seventh.
The Bobcats and Pacers finish the crucial three-game set Sunday, March 28 at noon, which has been moved up an hour. Georgia College returns home Tuesday, March 30 against Clark Atlanta University at 5 p.m.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.