– Pitching was placed in the background on Saturday afternoon
as North Georgia and 21st-ranked UNC Pembroke met in the rubber
game of a three-game set with the Saints coming from behind to
overtake the Braves 12-10 at Bob Stein Stadium in Peach Belt
The Saints take the series and improve to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Braves take the middle game of the series, but fall to 10-3 overall on the year and 1-2 in league action to open the season.
Scoring was fairly easy to come by on a windy Sunday afternoon as the Saints and Braves combined to score 13 runs in the first three innings. North Georgia emerged from the early slugfest with a 7-6 lead heading to the fourth frame.
The Braves used power in the first two innings with home runs from Keith Whitman, a three-run blast in the first inning, while Jordan Pegram and Kenny Mickens both tallied homers in the second inning to give the Braves a three-run lead.
After the Saints snagged the lead right back at 7-6, the Braves answered in the fourth as Mickens and Seth Kivett doubled home runs to give the Braves an 8-7 lead. The Saints once again proved resilient and Brad Hall came to the plate with two outs in the last of the fourth and doubled to left center, scoring Chad Chage to knot the game at 8-8.
After both teams tacked on runs in the fifth, North Georgia took control with two runs in the seventh and single runs in the eighth and ninth to run away with the series finale.
Craig Brisson provided an RBI single in the seventh, while Jordan Erisman capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to give the Saints the lead for good. Sage stayed red hot for North Georgia to lead off the eighth, launching his third home run of the weekend and seventh of the year, a no doubter to left center to give the Saints a 12-9 advantage. The Braves added a single run in the ninth on a bloop single, but Jacob Rickett came on in the ninth to slam the door and pick up the save.
The Saints return to the diamond on Tuesday evening, traveling south to West Florida for a two-game set with the Argonauts. The series opener is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., while the finale is set to take place on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. as the Peach Belt and Gulf Coast Conference clash in mid-week action.