COLUMBUS, Ga. – The 2011 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament opened with an 8-4 loss Sunday for Georgia College (35-15), as a late surge helped UNC Pembroke (39-10) pull out a first-round victory at historic Golden Field.
With GC up 4-2 into the eighth, UNCP responded with six unanswered runs in the come-from-behind win, aided by four Bobcat errors in the game.
West No.2-seed GC will face the loser of today's Francis Marion University/Augusta State University contest. The East No. 3-seed Braves move on to take on the winner of that same game.
UNCP struck first in the first, bringing in a run via an error. GC responded in the fourth, when Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) led off with a triple off the centerfield wall, and then scored on a Brave error.
After UNCP tied it up on a home run by Keith Whitman, the Bobcats put up a three-run inning, highlighted by three doubles for a 4-2 lead. The big blow was a two-run two-bagger from Shawn Ward (Evans, Ga.). Ward finished 3-for-5 with the two RBI.
UNCP closed out the game with the 6-0 run, sending GC to the losers' bracket.
Lefty starter Mike Guinane (Glenview, Ill.) was strong in 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing one earned run on five hits and fanning eight. His pitch count got the best of him before turning the lead over to the bullpen. Righty Tanner Moore (Thomasville, Ga.) fell victim to the four-run ninth, falling to 2-4 despite just one run being earned.
Joining Ward in double-figure hits was shortstop Tanner Funk (Kearney, Mo.), going 2-for-5 with a double. Funk extends his hit streak to 13 games.
UNCP All-PBC closer Braxton Lewis (5-0) got the win, going two full innings with two hits. Whitman was 2-for-4 with the home run, two RBI and four runs.
GC takes on the loser of FMU/ASU tomorrow, May 9 at 9 a.m.
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.