DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College
& State University used a three-run blast in the third inning
to take the lead for good as they held on to defeat the University
of Alabama-Huntsville 9-5 Tuesday evening at Bob Stein Stadium.
The Saints win their third straight and improve to 18-14, while Alabama-Huntsville falls to 18-8 with the defeat. The series finale set for tomorrow afternoon has been cancelled due to the threat of rain and no make-up date has been scheduled.
Both teams had chances in the first inning as UAH loaded the bases on a walk, hit batter, and a bunt single, but Blake Hobby shut the door, striking out the ensuing batter before inducing a double play to turn the Chargers away empty handed. The Saints also had a pair of runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning with only one out, but Ryan Griffin forced two straight groundouts to send a scoreless game to the second frame.
The chargers scored the first run of the game in the third inning as Jordan Parker doubled down the right field line, moved to third on a groundout, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan McCrory to give UAH the first lead of the game at 1-0.
North Georgia answered right back in the bottom half of the third with three runs to take a 3-1 advantage. With two outs and a runner on, Jordan Erisman coaxed a walk to bring Andre Airich to the plate who delivered his fourth home run of the year, launching the opposite field long ball to give the Saints a two-run lead.
Luke Putnam Pulled Alabama-Huntsville to within a run with a single up the middle in the fourth, plating Shannon Anderson to make it 3-2. North Georgia answered the UAH run again, this time pushing a run across on a bases loaded walk to bring Zach Bennett home and make it 4-2.
Brad Hall continued his clutch hitting in the fifth frame, blasting his team-leading seventh home run of the season, a rocket to left center that landed halfway up crown mountain to give the Saints a 5-2 fifth inning lead.
The Chargers added a single run in the sixth inning on a bouncing single over the third baseman’s head by Zack Townley to bring Anderson racing home from second and pull UAH to within a pair at 5-3.
JD Burgess and Erisman each drove in runs in the eighth, before Airich singled home the Saints’ final two runs of the game to give the North Georgia a 9-3 lead.
George Washington singled home a run in the final inning, and McCrory grounded out to bring home the final run of the game as the Saints took the 9-5 victory.
Jacob Rickett (3-1) picked up the win in relief, tossing 2.2 innings and allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out two and walking two. Mark Thomas came on to record the final out and pick up his first save of the season.
Griffin (3-2) suffered the loss, lasting 3.2 innings and allowing four earned runs on five hits while striking out two.
The Saints return to action over the weekend, hosting 29th-ranked Francis Marion University in Peach Belt Conference action with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday and a single game slated for Sunday afternoon.
Note: With the victory, the Saints improve to a perfect 7-0 all-time against the University of Alabama-Huntsville.