Saints Prey on Bobcats in Battle of Ranked Teams
– The 27th-ranked North Georgia baseball team put three runs
on the board in the first inning on Friday evening and never looked
back, cruising to 10-2 victory over 23rd-ranked Georgia College
& State University at John Kurtz Field in Peach Belt Conference
The Saints extend a pair of streak with the victory as the club has now won all six of their series openers this season, while picking up their fourth straight victory and making it seven victories in their last eight games.
North Georgia improves to 12-5 overall on the season and 3-1 in Peach Belt Conference action, while the Bobcats see their seven game winning streak go down in flames, falling to 7-5 overall and 0-1 in league action. After starting the season with four straight defeats, GCSU had won seven straight to jump into the national rankings before falling to the Saints in their first conference game of the season.
North Georgia made a statement in the first inning with a rally that started with two outs and the bases clear. Following a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out to clear the bases, Andre Airich legged out a triple, setting up a Chad Sage single to bring home the first run of the game. Troy Snitker then followed with a double, sending Sage around from first to make it a 2-0 game. Brad Hall capped the three-run first inning with a single to score Sage and give North Georgia the early lead.
The Bobcats posted a second-inning run as a two-out double from Jason Veyna plated Andrew Evans who singled earlier in the inning, cutting the Saints’ lead to a pair at 3-1.
The potent North Georgia offense went back to work in the fourth inning, sending two more runs home to score on just one hit as Jordan Erisman came to the dish with the bases jammed and grounded out to bring home a run, and Airich followed and was plunked, sending Alan Fredriksson trotting home to give the Saints a 5-1 lead.
Airich recorded his second triple of the game to leadoff the seventh inning, and came home on another Sage RBI single to make it a 6-1 game, setting up a rally in the ninth that put the game out of reach.
In North Georgia’s final at-bat, Hall added another RBI double, Kenny Bellavance notched an infield hit to score a run, and Craig Brisson capped the scoring with a two-run single to left field, giving the Saints a 10-1 lead. The Bobcats added a single run in the ninth inning on a Richard Pirkle leadoff homer, his seventh long ball of the year.
The Saints got another gem from senior right-handed pitcher Chris Rearick (4-0) who tossed 8.1 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs, both earned, while striking out nine and not walking a batter. Justin Yackee came on to close the game, striking out the final two Bobcat batters.
The Bobcats and Saints return to action on Saturday for a doubleheader to close the series. Game one of the double dip is set for 2:00 p.m. at John Kurtz Field
- The North Georgia offense has scored 46 runs in the last four games.
- The Saints have now scored double-digit runs in 11 games this season.
- Brisson’s third-inning double extended the senior’s hitting streak to five games.
- Bellavance’s four-hit performance makes him the sixth player this season to record four hits in a game.
- Sage’s three-hit day was his ninth multiple hit game of the season.
- Hall’s has a team-high eight multiple RBI games after driving in two runs.