DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia used a
four-run third inning to take an early led before defeating Mars
Hill College 7-4 Friday evening in the first game of a three-game
series between the two teams.
The Saints put a stop to a three-game losing streak and get back to .500 at 3-3 on the year, while Mars Hill falls to 7-2.
North Georgia jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning as Andre Airich singled through the left side to plate Jordan Erisman and give the Saints a 1-0 advantage. Anders Oster followed and connected with his third three-run homer of the season, sending a blast to right-center to bring Airich and Baker home for a 4-0 lead.
Mars Hill came back in the sixth inning and capitalized on a two-out error to score three unearned runs, capped by a two-run long ball by Brandon Savoca to pull the Lions to within a run at 4-3.
After a three-run sixth for Mars Hill, the Saints put a pair on the board in the bottom of the inning as Daniel Petitti sent a ball to the gap in left-center, just clearing the fence and bringing JD Burgess home to make it 6-3.
In the seventh, Mars Hill was at it again, loading the bases with no outs before Tom Cantrell sent for Justin Yackee out of the bullpen to shut down the Lions. Yackee forced a ground ball, recorded a strike out, and finished the inning with fly ball to right field to turn Mars Hill away empty handed.
The Saints added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Zach Bennett, and Mars Hill tacked on a run in the ninth as North Georgia takes the first game of the weekend 7-4.
James Wiley (1-0) picked up his first victory of the season, tossing six innings of five hit ball and allowing three unearned runs. Alex Britt (2-1) suffers the loss, allowing six North Georgia runs in 5.1 innings of work.
The Saints return to action Saturday afternoon, hosting Mars Hill in the second game of the series with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m.