February 12, 2012

Saints Break out the Bats Late, Rout No. 28 Pacers 14-6

Contact: Steve Cunha,

AIKEN, SC – The North Georgia baseball team erupted for nine runs in the top of sixth inning on Sunday afternoon en route to a 14-6 victory over Peach Belt Conference foe USC Aiken in the finale of the Carolina Outdoors Classic at Roberto Hernandez Stadium.

The Saints (4-2) won their third straight contest to sweep the weekend tournament, while the Pacers (5-1) dropped their first game of the season.

For the second straight day North Georgia scored 14 plus runs and belted 10 plus hits.

Jordan Erisman earned the win in his first start of the young season as he tossed 6.2 innings and allowing six runs, only three of which were earned. Freshman Phillip Taylor pitched well in relief for the Saints tossing the final 2.1 innings allowing only one hit.

For the second straight game, North Georgia trailed early as the Pacers touched Erisman for a pair of runs. The defense didn't help Erisman early as the leadoff batter in the inning reached and advanced into scoring position on an error by Andrew Gordon.

USC Aiken got to Erisman once again in the fourth when they opened the frame with three straight hits which led to a pair of runs to build the Pacers' lead to 4-0.

After being held hitless over the first five innings by USC Aiken starter Kelly Holt, the North Georgia offense woke up recording seven hits and plating nine runs to steal the momentum away from the Pacers. USC Aiken's defense didn't help their pitchers much in the inning either, committing two errors.

The North Georgia rally started when Eason Spivey reached on error by Pacer shortstop Stephen Carmon. Holt would retire the next batter before the Saints slugged four straight hits, plating two runs and loading the bases for Gordon.

An erratic Holt hit Gordon and that was enough for Pacers skipper Kenny Thomas who would make the first of two pitching changes in the inning.

Dustin Carpenter promptly greeted the new pitcher with a run scoring single up the middle. After a Travis Naraine strikeout, Spivey delivered a clutch two-out double down the plate a pair. Erisman followed with a walk and Derek Hooper reached on an error by Pacer third basemen Kevin Gifford to plate two more runs.

The rally wasn't over as Terrell Jones followed with single up the middle to plate Erisman, who did his job in the bottom of the frame, retiring USC Aiken in order.

North Georgia would add three more insurance runs the seventh and two in the eighth to put the game out of reach as Naraine and Spivey added RBI singles and the Pacers' defense committed two more errors to extend the innings for the Saints.

Offensively, Jones, Matt Black and Spivey all had multi-hit games for the Saints. Spivey had a career-high three RBI's and Carpenter had two RBI's.

The Saints return to the diamond on Wednesday, when they travel to Carrollton, Georgia, to take on West Georgia.