ST. AUGUSTINE, FL
– The 19th-ranked North Georgia baseball team continued a
recent trend of ninth inning heroics with a pair of runs to come
from behind and top Flagler College 2-1 in game one of a weekend
series at Flagler Stadium in non-conference action.
In a non-conference matchup between a pair of Peach Belt Conference schools, North Georgia improves to 32-15 on the year as winners in four of their last five contests, while Flagler falls to six games over the .500 mark at 27-21 on the season.
Flagler scored their lone run of the game in the fourth inning, using a leadoff double from Zach Bove before a pair of groundouts brought what would be the home team’s only run of the night to the plate.
The Flagler Saints looked to be cruising to a win with one out in the ninth and no runners on, but North Georgia was just getting started as Jordan Erisman continued his streak of late-game fireworks with a triple to left center to get the rally started, and Andre Airich followed and lined his 17th double of the year to right center, sending Erisman trotting home and knotting the score 1-1.
After Anders Oster coaxed a five-pitch walk, Kenny Bellavance singled to center field as Airich came racing home to give North Georgia their first lead of the game at 2-1. The Saints have now scored runs in each of their last four ninth inning at-bats, dating back nearly two weeks in a 12-1 victory at Augusta State.
After Chris Rearick tossed 8.0 innings of seven-hit ball, Jacob Rickett came on in the ninth in search of his 10th save of the year. After walking the leadoff batter, the junior recorded a pair of strikeouts before Ollie Bertrand grounded out to shortstop to end the game and stretch Rickett’s save total to double digits. The Cumming, Ga., native is now just the second person in North Georgia history to have 10 or more saves in a single season.
Rearick (9-2) picked up the win, allowing just the one run, while striking out six and walking one. Adam Jaudon (5-2) was the tough-luck loser for Flagler, lasting 8.1 innings and allowing five hits and both North Georgia runs, while walking two and fanning six.
North Georgia and Flagler will continue the non-conference battle of the Saints on Saturday afternoon as the two clubs are set to play the second game of a three-game weekend series at 5:00 p.m.