March 7, 2012

Saints Use Strong Bullpen Performance to Edge Truett-McConnell

Contact: Steve Cunha,

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team got back in the win column on Wednesday night as they rallied to beat Truett-McConnell 4-3 at Bob Stein Stadium.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Saints (11-5), while the Bears (10-12-1) lost their sixth straight contest. 

Truett McConnell got on the board first in the second inning when they chased Saints starter Wes Coberly and scored a pair of runs on three hits. Coberly struggled to find his rhythm and the strike zone early and head coach Tom Cantrell kept him on a short leash.

Jacob Beauchamp came on in relief and pitched effectively, going 4.2 innings, striking out four and surrendering one earned run to pick up his second win of the season. Chip Fleming and Reese Patten followed Beauchamp and hit their spots, allowing only two hits over the final 3.1 innings. Patten worked the final 2.1 innings to earn his first save of the season. 

The Saints cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third when Matthew Black led off the inning with a single to right field and moved into scoring position on a failed pickoff attempt. After two quick outs, Bears starter Chance Yeargin hit Jordan Erisman and Travis Naraine followed with a two-out single up the middle, plating Black who just beat the throw coming from center.

North Georgia would take the lead for good an inning later thanks in part to a costly miscue and timely hitting. Kenny Bellavance led off the frame with a bouncer to third and Truett McConnell's Brett Clifton made a throwing error to allow Bellavance to move into scoring position. After a Dustin Carpenter strike out, Andrew Gordon walked and Black followed with a double to deep right center, plating both Bellavance and Gordon. Black advanced to third on a wild pitch and Derek Hooper hit a sac fly to right, giving the Saints the 4-2 lead. 

When the dust settled at the end of the fourth North Georgia pushed across three runs on just one hit.

Truett McConnell responded in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to just one when Ross Roberts led off with a triple down the right field line and later came around to score when Same Eure hit a frozen rope to right field. Beauchamp would settle down and retire the next two batters to get out of the jam. 

All the offensive fireworks happened early and over the final three half innings the pitchers for both squads dominated.  

Offensively, Matt Black went 2 -4 with a pair of runs scored and pair of RBI's and Erisman went 2-3.

The Saints return this weekend, March 10-11, when they travel to Savannah to take on PBC foe Armstrong Atlantic in a three-game series.