DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Some ninth inning heroics and a mid-game rally helped No. 1 Georgia College baseball (17-2, 3-0 PBC) start off the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) season with a road-series sweep, as the Bobcats took a doubleheader at No. 11 North Georgia (11-6, 1-5 PBC) 7-6 and 11-6 Monday afternoon.
In game one, the Saints seemed to have the answer at nearly every turn, knotting the game up in the third and seventh innings, but a ninth-inning home run by second baseman Matthew Robinson (Hull, Ga.) provided the game-winner, as GC won 7-6. The first career home run by the freshman, Robinson took a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for a solo shot.
Senior reliever Tanner Moore (Thomasville, Ga.) entered in the eighth to get the final out with a pair of runners in scoring position, then struck out the side in the ninth to close it out. He improves to 1-0 with his first career victory.
Rightfielder Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.) went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run, while catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) drove in a pair with just one hit. Robinson had a 2-for-4 game with two runs and an RBI. Centerfielder Patrick Daugherty (Kennesaw, Ga.) hit 2-for-4 with a run.
North Georgia reliever Jacob Rickett (3-1) took the loss, going one inning and surrendering the Robinson home run. Designated hitter Dustin Carpenter tallied a pair of hits in four trips, driving in three and scoring twice.
In game two, the Saints had a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, when the Bobcats out-scored the Saints 7-1 over the remainder of the game. GC took the lead with a pair in the fifth, getting RBI doubles by Travis Echols (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Robinson.
Daugherty, Josh Young (Lake Havasu City, Ariz.), Ward and Robinson each had two hits among the Bobcats' 10. Ward drove in a pair and scored twice himself, while Young crossed the plate three times and drove in one. GC had eight stolen bases, led by Daugherty with three.
Reliever Chris George (Woodstock, Ga.) threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits, striking out six, and improving to 2-0. North Georgia reliever Matt Smith (1-1) took the loss in 1 2/3 innings of work. First baseman Brad Hall was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.
Georgia College has now won 14 games in a row. The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, March 8 at 4 p.m., hosting Ohio Dominican University at John Kurtz Field.
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/BobcatSports 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.