March 7, 2009

Saints Split with Columbus, Take Weekend Series

Game 1 | Game 2

DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College & State University rallied to take game one 9-8 on a walk-off single, but Columbus State responded with an impressive comeback of their own in the nightcap to steal a 13-8 victory and split a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.

The 6th-ranked Saints take the series and improve to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Cougars salvage the final game of the series and move to 10-9 overall and an even 3-3 in the league.

In game one, the Saints looked to be headed to victory when Brian Gordon came to the plate in the eighth and launched a two-run blast to left field, tying the game and sending it to the bottom of the ninth deadlocked at 8-8.

The Saints wasted little time orchestrating their second walk-off victory in as many days as Daniel Petitti led off and singled to center field. After a fielder’s choice and a walk put two runners on, Nicholas Fryman, who scored the game-winner on Friday, singled to right field to bring home the winning run and give North Georgia a 9-8 walk-off victory.

Andre Airich continued his consistent hitting, recording three more hits and driving in a pair of runs. Jordan Erisman drove in two runs of his own, while Petitti put up two hits in the victory.

Justin Yackee (4-1) picked up the win in relief, tossing one-third of an inning with zeros across the board.

In game two, another shootout started in the opening inning as both teams put up a pair of runs, but the Saints kept on scoring with three runs in the third and two more in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead.

Chad Sage provided the fireworks in the fifth inning with a two-out home run to right field, plating Airich and giving North Georgia a five-run advantage.

Columbus would rally over the final three innings however, putting up 11 runs to take the series finale 13-8. The Cougars used five hits and one North Georgia error to score seven runs in the eighth to take the lead for good. CSU would add three insurance runs in the ninth with a Ryan Lewis three-run blast.

North Georgia got long balls from Petitti, Sage, and Brad Hall, but the Saints’ relief pitchers gave up 10 runs over two innings in the defeat. Justin Yackee (4-2) suffered the loss in the nightcap, giving up two hits and three earned runs.

The Saints return to action on March 10-11, hosting Catawba College with a single game slated for each day. Both contest are set to start at 4:00 p.m.