Saints Play Long Ball, Split PBC Doubleheader
DAHLONEGA, GA - North Georgia launched six home runs in the opener, the last one proving to be the difference in a 15-13 walk-off win in 12 innings, while Armstrong Atlantic used 16 hits to take the nightcap 14-12 on Easter Sunday in PBC Action.
The Saints move to 22-21 overall and 13-11 in the Peach Belt Conference with the doubleheader split, while the Pirates leave town at 28-16 overall and 7-11 in the league.
In game one, runs were scored early and often as the Saints and Pirates combined to score 14 runs in the first four innings. Armstrong Atlantic put up single runs in each of the first three innings, and two more in the fourth, while North Georgia tallied a five spot in the first, and two runs in the second and fourth innings to take a 9-5 lead.
Josh Wison led off the game and launched the second pitch he saw over the left field fence to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Alex Wyche and Carlos Cardza-Oqundo added RBI's in the second and third innings respectively, and Kenny Cail doubled home the first of two Armstrong Atlantic runs in the fourth inning.
North Georgia added runs in bunches early as Andre Airich unloaded on a three-run opposite field bomb in the first frame, and Daniel Petitti followed three batters later with his second long ball in as many days to cap a five-run first inning.
Airich wasted little time getting the Saints back on the board in the second inning, turning on a fastball and unleashing his second homer of the day, this time a liner over the left field fence to plate Logan Sharrett for a 7-2 lead.
In the fourth, Craig Brisson got in on the scoring and sent a home run to left field, a two-run shot to give North Georgia a 9-5 advantage. Not to be outdone, Petitti came back in the fifth and followed a Wallach RBI single with his second home run of the day, another two-run homer down the left field line to give North Georgia a 12-5 lead.
The Saints handed a pair of runs back in the sixth inning with a hit batter and walk with the bases loaded to force home two runs and make it 12-7.
Armstrong Atlantic then came back with a six spot in the eighth inning to take a 13-12 advantage. Josh Heath pulled the Pirates to within two runs with three-run homer to center field, and Juan Dorado gave the Pirates the lead with a bases loaded single up the middle, a play that would score three runs after a North Georgia error.
Airich came right back and delivered his third hit of the game in the bottom of the eighth, a two-out double down the left field line to bring Logan Sharrett racing home from second to tie the game 13-13.
Both teams went scoreless in the ninth to force extra innings where the Saints finally scored in the 12th inning to take the victory. After Nick Fryman singled with two outs, Brad Hall came to the plate and belted his eighth home run of the year to give North Georgia a 15-13 win in walk-off fashion.
Matt Smith (1-1) came on as the eighth pitcher for the Saints and tossed 1.0 inning to pick up the victory, while Ryan Smith (5-2) went 4.0 innings, but allowed three hits and two runs to suffer the loss for the Pirates.
Dorado and Cail paced Armstrong Atlantic with four hits apiece, while Airich led the Saints with three hits and six RBI's and two home runs. Petitti added two home runs of his own while driving in four, and Logan Sharrett recorded a trio of hits.
In game two, it was Armstrong Atlantic that scored early and often, plating four first inning runs, and following with two in the second, five in the fourth, and two more in the fifth.
Cail led the way with three hits, three runs batted in, and three runs scored, while Drew Carnes recorded a pair of hits and drove in four runs. Heath also tallied a pair of hits and three RBI's, while
The Saints who scored single runs in the each of the first two innings, but came on late with a pair in the fifth before plating five more in the sixth to pull to within five runs at 14-9. Hall provided the fireworks in the sixth with the team's third grand slam the series as the sophomore blasted the homer to left center to clear the bases.
The Saints added single runs in each of the last three innings, but the Pirates held on for the 14-12 victory in the series finale.
Hall finished the game with three hits and five RBI's for the Saints, while Erisman put up two hits and three RBI's in five trips to the plate.
The Saints return to action on Tuesday afternoon, traveling to Carrollton, Ga., to take on the Wolves of West Georgia with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m.