– The 17th-ranked North Georgia baseball team opened a
weekend on series on Friday evening, welcoming Truett-McConnell
College to town and taking down the Bears 15-8 at Bob Stein Stadium
in non-conference action.
The Saints, now winners in five of their last six, improve to 31-14 on the year, while Truett-McConnell falls to 23-20 on the year as the two cross-town rivals battle in a weekend set.
Teddy Leverett led off the game for Truett-McConnell and belted the second pitch he saw down the left field line that just cleared the fence to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
North Georgia came to the plate in the bottom of the first and quickly scored a run of their own as TMC starting pitcher Christian White walked three of the first four batters he faced, the third of which drove in a run as Anders Oster picked up the bases loaded walk. The Saints added four more runs in the inning as Brad Hall capped the frame with a two-run single up the middle to give North Georgia a 5-1 lead.
The Saints continued to pour on the runs in the next two innings, plating a run in the second and four more in the third to take a 10-1 lead. The four-run third came courtesy of RBI singles from Daniel Petitti and Jordan Erisman, while Andre Airich drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.
The onslaught continued in the fifth inning as the Saints’ offense added four more runs as Kenny Bellavance and Chad Sage notched back-to-back singles to key the rally and put the home team up by 13 runs at 14-1.
Truett-McConnell came back in the sixth inning and got new life as Justin Yackee came in out of the pen and walked four straight batters, the final two bringing home runs before Yackee was lifted for Nick White. The side-armed right-hander was rudely greeted with a double to the gap in left center by Leverett, clearing the bases and pushing across three more runs.
After the Bears loaded the bases once again, James Wiley was called in out of the pen and forced three straight groundouts to limit the damage to seven runs in the inning as Truett-McConnell pulled to within six runs at 14-8.
The Saints tacked on one more run in the eighth and cruised to a 15-8 victory in game one of the weekend series. Chris Rearick (8-2) picked up the victory, while Wiley grabbed the save for the Saints. Christian White was the losing pitcher, tossing all eight innings for the Bears.
North Georgia returns to action Saturday evening against these same Truett-McConnell Bears as the Saints will honor their 10 seniors before the contest. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. at Bob Stein Stadium.