DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team split a doubleheader against 26th-ranked Columbus State on Saturday afternoon, taking the opener 5-3, before the Cougars rallied for a 5-2 victory in the rubber game of the series at Bob Stein Stadium in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Saints move to 21-13 overall on the year and 7-11 in the Peach Belt Conference, while Columbus State holds on to the No. 2 spot in the PBC West Division, improving to 22-13 overall and 8-7 in league play.
In game one, Columbus State jumped out on top in the third inning when Bruce Alter broke the scoreless deadlock with a three-run home run to left field, just clearing the glove of Dustin Carpenter to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
The Saints would come back in the bottom half of the inning and rally with two outs however, as Terrell Jones got he party started with a line drive single up the middle to plate Snitker and give North Georgia their first run of the series.
After Alan Fredriksson reached on an error to plate another run, Derek Hooper and Jordan Erisman recorded back-to-back RBI base knocks to give the Saints a 4-3 lead. Hooper scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to cap a five-run frame and give North Georgia all the runs they would need in a 5-3 victory.
Wes Coberly (3-2) was credited with the win in 6.2 innings of work, allowing four hits and three runs, while walking three and striking out seven. Daniel Warzon and Jacob Rickett were perfect in relief, and Rickett picked up his league-leading 10th save of the season with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.
After a nearly perfectly played game two of the series, both teams were locked in another pitcher's duel in the series finale, but it was the Saints that would take the early lead this time when Erisman grounded out to bring Hooper home and give North Georgia a 1-0 third-inning lead.
Columbus State answered back in the fifth inning, as Cameron Scott grounded out to plate Aaron Jividen and knot the score at a run apiece. The Cougars took the lead in the following when Logan Dollar took an 0-2 pitch and planted it over the fence in left center to give CSU a 2-1 advantage.
Brad Hall came through in the clutch in the seventh inning with a single up the middle to send Jones racing home from second and knot the score again, this time at 2-2.
The game would be tied until the ninth inning when Columbus State used a bases loaded two-run single up the middle by Scott to break up the tie and send the Cougars to a three-run inning as they held on for the 5-2 win and series victory.
Andrew Wallace pitched 7.0 strong innings for the Saints, but Alex Simmons suffered the loss in relief, allowing two hits and three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Brian Satterfield (1-0) picked up the win for the Cougars, tossing the final 3.0 innings and not allowing a run.
The Saints will now hit the road to take on ACC member and 7th-ranked Florida State University on Tuesday evening in Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch against the Seminoles is set for 6:00 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida.