April 7, 2012

Saints Split Doubleheader, Take Series from Columbus State

Contact: Steve Cunha,

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team split a conference doubleheader with Columbus State on Saturday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium, taking game one 6-0 and falling 7-3 in game two.

The Saints (18-18, 8-13 PBC) won their third conference series of the season, while Cougars (24-15, 11-10 PBC) have lost three of their last four.

Game One: North Georgia 6, Columbus State 0

North Georgia ace Blake Hobby returned to his All-American form in game one, tossing a complete game shutout. The Macon, Georgia, native faced one batter over the minimum and surrendered just one hit while striking out eight without walking a batter. 

Hobby gave up an infield single with one out in the first, but forced Cameron Scott to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. From there the senior was in cruise control retiring 14 straight batters before Harrison Waller reached on an error. Hobby had his best start of the season retiring the Cougars in order in six of the nine innings to pick up his sixth win of the season.

Offensively, the Saints were led by Derek Hooper who went 3-4 with two RBI's, while Kenny Bellavance went 2-5 with a pair of RBI's as well. Jordan Erisman had his team leading 16th multi-hit game. 

The Saints jumped on the Cougars ace Brodie Leibrandt in the fourth when Eason Spivey knocked an RBI fielder's choice to short plating Terrell Jones who led off the inning with a single up the middle.

North Georgia added a pair of insurance runs in the home half of the sixth when Erisman and Hooper hit back-to-back RBI singles to left center. 

The Saints put the game out of reach in the eighth when they plated three runs with two outs to give Hobby extra run support.

Game Two: Columbus State 7, North Georgia 3

After being held scoreless in game one the Cougars pounced on Saints starter Taylor Keinat scoring a run on three hits in the first inning. Brett Teschner delivered a two-out RBI single to put Columbus up early.

The Cougars were back at it in the top of third when Eric Weiss delivered another two-out RBI when he smacked single up the middle. 

The Saints cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame when Derek Hooper bounced into a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs to bring Eason Spivey racing home.

After pounding hits 11 hits in game one the Saints mustered just six in game two. 

The Cougars blew the game open in the top of the fifth when they played four runs. The big blow in the inning came when Cameron Griffin smacked three run homer off reliever Jesse Coxwell.

The Saints rallied late scoring a run in each of the seventh and eighth innings, but Cougars reliever Tyler Carpenter got out of bases loaded jam in the eighth and retired North Georgia in order in the ninth to seal the victory. 

Keinat picked up the loss falling to 1-4 on the year as he went 4.2 innings allowing nine hits and five runs, while Will Casey picked up the win.

The Saints return to the diamond on April 10, when they head to Pensacola, Florida, to take on West Florida in non-conference action.