March 8, 2011

Saints Clutch Late, Rally Past West Georgia in 9th

CARROLLTON, GA – The 10th-ranked North Georgia baseball team proved to be resilient on Tuesday evening, battling back with three ninth-inning runs to rally past University of West Georgia 4-2 at Cole Field in non-conference action.

North Georgia gets back on track after dropping a weekend series to the No. 1 team in the land, improving to 12-6 on the year, while West Georgia drops their fourth straight game, falling to 7-11 on the season. The Saints and Wolves will face off again next month, taking the diamond at Bob Stein Stadium on April 26, to resume the in-state rivalry.

Andrew Wallace took the mound for the Saints and breezed through the opening inning, but the Wolves pushed a run across the second frame as David Buchanan recorded his first home run of the year, sending a solo shot over the fence in left field to give West Georgia a 1-0 lead.

The Saints manufactured a run in the fourth inning, taking advantage of two errors by the Wolves to knot the score at a run apiece. Terrell Jones led off the frame and singled, but a miscue by the centerfielder put Jones in scoring position with no outs. Troy Snitker followed and reached on an error, bringing Kenny Bellavance to plate who lifted a fly ball to right field, deep enough to score Jones from third and deadlock the score at 1-1.

Both bullpens would go to work from there, keeping it scoreless until the eighth inning when the Wolves struck again, this time with a single to right center by Justin Croft to plate a run and give West Georgia a 2-1 lead.

With the game on the line in the ninth, Troy Snitker led off and singled up the middle to put the tying run on base. After Bellavance converted a sacrifice bunt, Brad Hall delivered a run scoring double down the right field line, sending Snitker home and knotting the score once again.

The Saints were far from finished however, as Dustin Carpenter singled to right field and Alan Fredriksson followed with a sacrifice fly to give North Georgia their first lead of the day at 3-2. Jordan Erisman legged out an infield single later in the inning to send Carpenter home and cap the three-run inning, giving the Saints a 4-2 come-from-behind victory.

Wallace tossed 6.0 inning, allowing five hits and one run, but Jacob Rickett (4-1) was credited with the win, recording 3.0 innings of three-hit ball while striking out four.

The Saints return to action over the weekend, traveling to Americus, Ga., for a three-game set with Georgia Southwestern. The two teams are set to play a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by the series finale on Sunday afternoon.