Saints' Bats Come Alive, Pound West Florida 18-0
– The 27th-ranked North Georgia baseball team continued to
score runs and used a nearly perfect performance from starter James
Wiley on Tuesday evening to run past West Florida 18-0 in the
opening game of a two-game series with the Argonauts in
The Saints, now ranked No. 27 in the country and winners in five of their last six games, improve to 10-5 on the season, while West Florida, coming off a series loss to the #1 team in the country, fall to 10-8 overall.
North Georgia took an early lead by working the count and coaxing two first-inning walks with the bases loaded by Brad Hall and Daniel Petitti two give the Saints a 2-0 lead. Alan Fredriksson followed suite in the third inning with another walk to bring in a run, before Craig Brisson broke the game open with a bases loaded double, clearing the bases and giving the Saints a 6-0 third-inning advantage.
The fourth inning saw Troy Snitker connect with his fifth home run of the season, a two run blast to put the Saints up by eight, but the fifth inning was the dagger as North Georgia put up a season-high eight runs in the frame. North Georgia scored the eight runs on seven straight RBI hits, capped by a single up the middle by Jordan Erisman to give the Saints a 16-0 lead.
North Georgia then added single runs in each of the next two innings as Snitker hit his second homer of the day in the sixth, a solo shot, while Erisman drove in a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly, giving the Saints an 18-0 victory.
James Wiley (2-0) was sensational on the mound for the Saints, going 7.0 innings, and allowing just one hit while striking out six. He flirted with a no-hitter until the seventh inning when Dustin Lawley led off the frame with a single up the middle with third pitch he saw, breaking up the no-hitter, but Wiley calmly went back to work and stranded Lawley on third base to end the inning.
Craig Brisson had a day at the plate, going 2-3 with five runs batted in and two runs scored, while Snitker had three hits in six trips to the plate, including five runs batted in, two home runs, and three runs scored. Hall, Petitti, and Fredriksson all tallied a pair of runs batted in for the Saints.
North Georgia has now scored at least 10 runs in each of their last five victories, and have scored double digit runs in nine of their 10 wins this season. In their five defeats, the Saints have averaged just 3.4 runs, but when coming away with a win, the bats have done the work, averaging 13.4 runs per game.
The Saints and Argonauts will play the second and final game of the series on Wednesday afternoon at Jim Spooner Field. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.