– The North Georgia baseball team erased a five-run deficit
and rallied to take down 21st-ranked UNC Pembroke 10-8 in game one
of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference
action at Bob Stein Stadium.
North Georgia wins their third straight game and improve to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the No. 21 Braves fall to 8-4 overall and 0-1 in the league.
North Georgia faced in early five-run deficit as UNC Pembroke scored a pair of runs in the second frame, and came back with four more in the third to take a 6-1 lead. The Saints jumped on top first however, using a Chad Sage single through the left side to plate Jordan Erisman and give the Saints a 1-0 advantage.
The Braves answered right back in the second inning with a two-spot as Aaron Parnell belted a two-run blast, his fourth of the season to give UNC Pembroke a 2-1 lead. In the third, the Braves added four more runs, all coming with two outs as Jordan Pegram doubled home a pair of runs, and Tom Porricelli used an infield single to bring another run home and make it a 6-1 UNCP lead.
It was all North Georgia from their as Brad Hall doubled home two runs in the third, before the Saints tallied five more in the fourth to take an 8-6 lead. Andre Airich drove in two runs in the fourth with a double to left field, and Chad Sage had the big blow, a three-run blast to cap the four-run frame.
UNC Pembroke added a single run in the sixth to pull to within a run at 8-7 as Kenny Mickens belted a two-out homer to left field, but North Georgia added runs in the seventh and eighth innings to seal the win. In the seventh, Kelly Bellavance skied a sacrifice fly to center to bring home a run, and in the eighth, Sage stayed red hot, launching his second homer of the game, and sixth of the season.
The Braves tallied a run in the seventh off a Porricelli solo homer, and loaded the bases in the ninth, but the Saints shut the door and came away with the series opening 10-8 victory.
Chris Rearick (3-0) had a rough start but regrouped and went 8.0 innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs while striking out eight and walking a pair. Nick White came on in the ninth and went two-thirds of an inning, while Jacob Rickett faced the final batter for his first save of the season.
These same two teams will play the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon with first pitch set for 4:00 p.m.