TAMPA, Fla. – Taking on its first ranked opponent of the young season, the Georgia College baseball team (3-2) dropped a pair of close games at No. 11 University of Tampa (4-1) Friday 11-9 and 7-6.
Game one was a back-and-forth affair, the Bobcats owning a 5-1 lead in the second and a 9-8 advantage in the eighth. A home run by junior Drew Doty in the bottom of the eighth gave the Spartans the final 11-9 win.
Catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) continued his torrid start to his first season as a Bobcat, going 3-for-5 with a run and a double. Leftfielder Chris McCoy (Battle Creek, Mich.) finished 2-for-4, driving in a pair and scoring once.
Bobcat reliever Patrick Olvaney (Alpharetta, Ga.) took the loss (0-1). The win went to righty Caleb Kellogg (1-1) in 2 2/3 innings of work. Doty finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBI.
Game two was much of the same, with Tampa coming from behind late in the seven-inning affair.
Georgia College led 6-4 into the bottom of the sixth, but Tampa rallied with three runs. Two scored on a Bobcat error, the go-ahead strike coming on a single from junior Michael Danner.
McCoy had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run. First baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) and rightfielder Ikaika Anderson (Austell, Ga.) each hit solo home runs. For Ardeeser, it was his first collegiate blast.
Righty starter Justin Blue (Mulberry, Fla.) went the distance for the second time in as many starts (1-1), fanning seven over six innings and surrendering just three earned runs. Tampa reliever David Heintz (1-0) picked up the win with three innings of work. Tampa had just two multi-hit performers.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m., finishing the three-game set with the Spartans.
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 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.