April 27, 2013

Saints Split Baseball Doubleheader with Cougars, Claim First Game 9-7

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The University of North Georgia baseball team split its final road Peach Belt Conference doubleheader of the season Saturday afternoon. The Saints won the first game over Columbus State University 9-7 before falling 25-10 in the day's second game.

The Saints are now 17-29 overall and 8-19 in PBC action entering the final week of the regular-season while the Cougars move to 27-20 with a 19-10 mark in the league. 

Game 1: North Georgia 9, Columbus State 7

In the day's first game, North Georgia and Columbus State traded the lead back and forth several times beginning in the first two innings as the Saints eased out to a 4-3 lead after scoring one run in the first and three more in the second.

Tremayne Toorie scored the first run for the Saints and then drove in the trio of runs in the top of the second as he cleared Derek Hooper, Brad Barto and Kenny Bellavance off the bases with a double to right-center field.

Despite continuing the scoring drive with one run in the top of the fourth frame, the Saints found themselves down 6-5 following the completion of the inning as Columbus State plated three runs in the bottom of the frame. Columbus then added another in the fifth, but that would be all they could score as UNG went on to score four between the eighth and ninth.

In the eighth, Devin Gearhart got things started for North Georgia as he singled through the right side to score Brett Wright. Two batters later, Hooper was walked with the bases juiced to score Bellavance, tying the score at 7-7.

Gearhart then scored after Toorie was walked in similar fashion following a pitching change with Eason Spivey giving UNG the two-run cushion in the top of the ninth as he crossed the plate after Gearhart put the ball into play.

Phillip Taylor (1-0) came in during the fifth inning to record his first decision of the season in three innings of work that saw him strike out three batters with Brandon Agar coming in for the final two innings to earn his fifth save of the season.

Cameron Griffin (1-1) suffered the loss for Columbus State in just one-third of an inning of work that saw him give up three runs, two earned, and three walks.

Game 2: Columbus State 25, North Georgia 10

The day's second game did not go nearly the same way for the Saints as Columbus State jumped on the board quickly with six runs in the bottom of the first and another two in the bottom of the second.

North Georgia was able to slowly chip away at the lead, scoring three runs in the third and another three in the fourth with two more in the top of the fifth off an Andrew Gordon two-run home run to pull within one run at 9-8, but things turned ugly from there as the Cougars extended the lead back out with a single run in the sixth, nine in the seventh and six more in the eighth.

North Georgia's final two runs came in the eighth and ninth frames as the Saints gave up 26 hits.

Chip Fleming (1-1) was saddled with the loss despite going just one-third of an inning while Matthew Jake Ezeil (3-3) claimed the win on the mound for CSU in four innings of work.

UNG will wrap up the regular-season next weekend with a three-game home series against Georgia College beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. The season will wrap up on Sunday, May 5 with "Senior Day" at Bob Stein Stadium with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.