DAHLONEGA, GA – The 6th ranked North
Georgia baseball team did it again Friday evening, scoring a single
run in the bottom of the ninth to edge Columbus State University
4-3 and take over first place in the Peach Belt Conference.
North Georgia improves to 13-6 overall and 6-1 in the PBC, while Columbus State falls to 9-8 overall and 2-2 in the league.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Nicholas Fryman led off the inning with a single and Craig Brisson bunted Fryman over to second base to set up heroics from JD Burgess. Burgess singled to center field, bringing the winning run across for a 4-3 walk-off celebration.
The Saints scored two runs in the first inning on a lead-off home run by Brisson and two-out single by Brad Hall to make it 2-0 after the opening frame.
Columbus went back-to-back in fourth inning as Wes Adkins and Brian Gordon tied the game at 2-2 on solo shots.
Andre Airich came through in the clutch in the fifth inning, something North Georgia fans are getting used to as the junior singled to left field and regained the lead for the Saints at 3-2.
In the top of the ninth, Eric Skinner tied the game with two outs as he singled home Cam Willis to knot the score once again, only to see the Saints rally in the ninth for the series opening victory.
James Wiley pitched his best game of the season in the no decision, tossing 8.0 innings of six-hit ball while striking out two and allowing two earned runs. Justin Yackee (3-1) came on in the ninth and was tagged with the blown save but picked up the win as he went 1.0 inning and allowed one hit, and one run, while striking out one.
The two teams will continue their in-state rivalry tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader set to start at 1:00 p.m.