DAHLONEGA, GA - North Georgia College &
State University found themselves locked in a pitchers duel Monday
afternoon, but used an eighth-inning RBI single from Andre Airich
to send the Saints to a 3-2 victory over Lander University Monday
evening in the rubber game of a three-game PBC series.
The Saints, who moved up to #6 in the nation earlier in the day, improved to 11-5 overall and 5-1 in the Peach Belt Conference, while 19th-ranked Lander falls to 13-5 overall and an even 3-3 in the league.
After Lander tied the game in the top of the eighth on a Jordan Owens single to right field to make it 2-2, the Saints came right back in the bottom of the inning and Jordan Erisman led off the inning with double down the left field line. After a wild pitch pushed him over to third, Airich came through in the clutch once again, sending a bloop single to right field to give the Saints a 3-2 lead.
Justin Yackee came on in the ninth and retired the Bearcats in order to pick up his fourth save of the year. Jacob Rickett (1-1) recorded the win in 0.1 innings of work, while starter Michael Patton got a no decision after 7.2 innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out three.
Ches Courtney (0-2) suffered the loss in relief, going 0.1 innings and allowing three hits and one earned run. Drew Elliot went 6.2 innings for the Bearcats, giving up just two hits and one earned run while striking out four in a no decision.
The Saints put the first run on the board in the third inning, foreshadowing what would happen later in the game as Erisman doubled and Airich followed and singled home the first run of the game.
Lander would tie the game in the fifth as Brian Bender flied out to left field with runners on the corners, bringing Gabe McCann home to tie the game and set up the late-inning fireworks.
The Saints will jump on a bus this evening and travel to Tennessee for a two-game series with Carson-Newman College. The teams will play single games on Tuesday and Wednesday with first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. respectively.