March 11, 2012

Pirates Complete Weekend Sweep with 7-6 Win in Finale

Contact: Steve Cunha,

SAVANNAH, GA – Despite scoring in each of the last four innings on Sunday, the North Georgia baseball was unable to avoid a series sweep falling 7-6 to Armstrong in Peach Belt Conference action at Pirate Field. 

The road woes continue for the Saints (11-8, 3-6 PBC) who dropped their fifth straight game away from the friendly confines of Bob Stein Stadium, while Armstrong (14-5, 5-4 PBC) won their fifth straight home contest.

With the series sweep, the Pirates have taken five of the last six contests between the two teams dating back to 2009 when they last met. 

The Pirates jumped on the Saints early once again scoring in the first inning for the third straight game when Zach Taylor hit a solo homer to right field.

Armstrong would add two more runs in the third and another run in the fourth thanks to a sac fly by Cody Powell and RBI singles from Taylor and R.J. Dennard. 

The Saints would get on the scoreboard in the top of sixth when Travis Naraine led off the inning with a walk and later came around to score on an error by Pirates first basemen Chris Zittrouer.

North Georgia would add another run in the seventh to cut the deficit in half when Tremayne Toorie led off the inning with a single and later came around to score on a Brad Barto sac fly to right center. 

The Pirates responded in the bottom half of the frame with three runs to steal back the momentum and take the wind out of the Saints' sails.

North Georgia would answer back in the top in the eighth when Matthew Black smacked a run scoring single to left center to pull the Saints within four runs. 

The Saints ninth inning rally began as the first three batters reached base as Derek Hooper walked, Dustin Carpenter singled to center, and Eason Spivey was hit by a pitch. Senior Jordan Erisman followed with a rope to shortstop that Armstrong's Aex Frederick couldn't handle and Hooper came charging home.

One batter later, Terrell Jones hit a sac fly to left scoring Spivey and after a Kenny Bellavance walk Black was hit by an errant pitch pulling the Saints within one. Armstrong's closer Powell would settle down and retire Torrie to end the threat and send the Saints home with a bitter taste in their mouth. 

Taylor Keinat picked up the loss for the Saints falling to 1-2 on the season as he tossed 6.1 innings allowing five runs and giving up seven hits, while Scott Strickland got the win for the Pirates running his record to 5-0 on the season. Powell picked up his first save of the season holding the Saints at bay in ninth as they left the bases loaded.

Offensively, Carpenter had his best game of the season totaling half of the Saints hits as he went 3-3 with a walk. 

North Georgia looks to bounce back on March 13, when they host Carson-Newman in nonconference action at Bob Stein Stadium.