AIKEN, S.C. – The No. 4-seed Georgia College baseball team (34-14) pounded out four home runs, including three in one inning, downing the No. 5-seed UNC Pembroke (33-18) 13-7 Saturday afternoon at the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament, hosted by USC Aiken.
The Bobcats advance to play No. 1-seed and PBC Regular-Season Champion Lander University tomorrow, May 11 at 10 a.m. in the PBC Semifinals.
After spotting the Braves three runs in the top of the first, the Bobcats answered right away with six in the bottom half, taking advantage of a pair of UNCP errors, Georgia College rolled from there, including a five-run fourth to lead 13-3 after five. A late Brave rally would fall short four runs later.
The three home runs came in the fourth, starting with a leadoff solo shot from second baseman Brandon Benson (Loganville, Ga.). Three batters later, All-PBC Second Team first baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) had a three-run blast to left, and All-PBC First Teamer Jake Sandlin (Evans, Ga.) capped the inning with a solo home run just inside the scoreboard in left.
Leftfielder and leadoff hitter Ryan Sabalaskey (Carol Stream, Ill.) was 4-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, reaching base in all five plate appearances with a walk. Ardeeser finished 2-for-5 with the three RBI and two runs. Sandlin drove in two and scored a pair, as All-PBC First Team catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) provided a solo home run in third.
UNCP got three in the eighth and one more in the ninth to claw back, with All-PBC First Team third baseman Jordan Edgerton providing solo home runs in the eighth and ninth. Edgerton finished 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI.
Righty starter Spencer Thomas (Loganville, Ga.) improved to 7-0 with the solid start, tossing six scoreless innings after giving up three in the first. Thomas finished with 10 hits and six runs. All-PBC First Team pitcher Andy Sullivan fell to 7-2 and was unable to make it past the third inning.
The Bobcats look to avenge the team's lone PBC series sweep losses from the regular season when they take on the Bearcats Sunday.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.