TAMPA, Fla. – A three-run ninth took a one-run game out of reach Saturday, as the No. 4 Georgia College baseball team (2-1) beat No. 5 University of Tampa (1-2) 8-4. The regular-season series win is the first by GC over Tampa since 2006.
Lefty Mike Guinane (Glenview, Ill.) impressed in his first outing with the Bobcats, going six innings and allowing three runs while fanning three. Catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) smacked two doubles and a home run among his 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. Shortstop Tanner Funk (Kearney, Mo.) broke out of a short one with a 3-for-4 day, driving in a pair and scoring once.
Tied at 3-3 into the sixth, the Bobcats went up 4-3 when Cody Maas (Alpharetta, Ga.) singled and eventually scored on a groundout. It became 5-3 in the eighth when a Pirkle double was followed immediately by a single up the middle from Funk.
Tampa got one in the eighth on a groundout RBI, cutting the lead to just one. Reliever Matthew Robinson (Hull, Ga.) fanned a Tampa hitter in the eighth with a runner in scoring position to end that threat.
In the ninth, Ikaika Anderson (Austell, Ga.) and Patrick Daugherty (Kennesaw, Ga.), teammates at ABAC a year ago, led off the inning with walks. Anderson stole third, and eventually scored on a wild pitch for a 6-4 lead. With Daugherty on second now, Josh Young (Lake Huvasu City, Ga.) singled to center, making it 7-4. After another steal and subsequent throwing error on the catcher moved Young to third, rightfielder Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.) plated Young with a sacrifice fly.
After some excitement in the bottom of the ninth that saw runners thrown out at home and third on the same play, Robinson got a groundout for his second save.
Tampa reliever Frank DeJiulio took the loss in 1 2/3 innings. Spartan shortstop Patrick Donahue was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI and a run.
The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. traveling to the University of West Georgia for a doubleheader. The Wolves begin their season Sunday, hosting Talladega College.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, back-to-back winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/GCSUBobcats and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.