DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia avoided
dropping their ninth straight regular season game to Francis Marion
University on Monday afternoon, holding on to claim a 6-3 victory
over the Patriots at Bob Stein Stadium in Peach Belt Conference
The Saints improve to 19-16 overall and 10-8 in the Peach Belt Conference with the series finale victory, while Francis Marion falls to 21-11-1 overall and 9-7 in the league.
Andre Airich continued his hot streak in the finale, recording three more hits and driving in a pair of runs for the Saints. Airich went an astounding 9-12 in the three-game series while adding four runs batted in.
Brad Hall came alive in the final game of the series, going a perfect 3-3 at the plate with three runs batted in, including the go-ahead two-out two-run single through the left side to give North Georgia the lead for good.
The Saints jumped out on top in the third inning as Airich produced a two-out single to right field, bringing Ross Book to the plate for the first run of the game. North Georgia added another run an inning later, this time an unearned run, as Davy Wallach attempted to steal second and was caught in a run down, allowing Hall to race to the plate and make it 2-0.
The two-out clutch hitting continued in the fifth inning, this time a Francis Marion two-run double off the bat of Barrett Kleinknecht tied the game as Matt O’Rourke and Alex Lee raced to the plate to knot the game at 2-2.
In the sixth, the Saints would regain the lead as Hall guided his second single of the day through the left side, another two-out hit, as Airich and Jordan Erisman scored on the play to give North Georgia a 4-2 advantage.
The Patriots pulled to within a run in the eighth inning, using a single through the right side by Lee to bring Jacob Wallace trotting home from third and make it 4-3.
North Georgia would score the final two runs of the game however; plating a pair of runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning for a 6-3 victory. Erisman led off the inning with a triple right center, and Airich followed with his third hit of the day, driving home Erisman for the two-run lead. Hall completed his three-hit day in the eighth, doubling home Airich for the final run of the game.
Michael Patton (4-2) picked up his second straight victory, lasting 6.2 innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four. Justin Yackee came on in the ninth to record his sixth save of the year, allowing a hit and two walks to load the bases, but struck out a pair to end the game.
Erik Sommerville (1-2) suffered the loss in the finale, tossing 5.2 innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out three.
The Saints return to action with a mid-week series at home against West Florida. North Georgia will host the Argonauts in single games on Tuesday and Wednesday with first pitch slated for 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively.