March 14, 2012

Eagles Rally in 9th, Sweep Away Saints in Midweek Series

Contact: Steve Cunha,

DAHLONEGA, GA – Fielding miscues hurt the North Georgia baseball team once again on Wednesday afternoon as their losing streak ran to five as they let a late lead slip away in a 7-6 loss to Carson-Newman at Bob Stein Stadium.

The Saints (11-10) have lost three straight series, while the Eagles (13-13) have won five of their last six to move to .500. 

For the fifth straight game, the Saints allowed a run in the first inning as Kyle Koeneman hit a sac fly to deep left off North Georgia starter Kyle Burchfield.

North Georgia would answer in the bottom of the frame as their bats came alive scoring four runs on four hits. Jordan Erisman got things started with a walk and Derek Hooper moved him into scoring position with a sac bunt. Kenny Bellavance, Matthew Black, Andrew Gordon and Dustin Carpenter followed with four straight hits to give the Saints the 3-1 advantage. 

Brad Barto capped the scoring in the inning with a sac fly to right plating Gordon.

The Eagles cut the deficit to just one run in the top of the third when Philip Duncan came around to score on an error and Lance Rorex laid down a successful suicide squeeze. 

The Saints would answer in the bottom of the frame as Carpenter stepped to the plate with runners on the corners and bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to score Black.

North Georgia added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth when Hooper hit a two-out double to deep center field to score Erisman. 

In the top of the fifth, the Eagles cut the deficit to one once again when Lance Reed was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Rorex bounced into a double play a batter later to score Zach Long.

Over the next three innings, the bullpens had the offenses at bay as Reese Patten tossed four shutout innings for the Saints and Lucas Watson pitched well for the Eagles. 

In the top of the ninth, Erisman came on in relief of Patten looking to shut the door. However, the Eagles had other plans. Duncan led off the inning and reached on a booted grounder by Hooper and Koeneman would make the Saints pay as he homered to deep left to put Carson-Newman ahead 7-6.

Daniel Sharp retired all four Saints he faced to pick up his second win of the year, while Erisman picked up his second loss of the season. 

Offensively, Erisman, Bellavance, Black and Gordon each had multi-hit games for the Saints.

The Saints look to get back in the win column on March 16, when they open a weekend series with Peach Belt Conference foe Flagler.