February 20, 2011

Saints Post Best Start in School History with Series Win

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team rallied from a late-inning deficit on Sunday afternoon to take down Millersville University 12-10 and secure the series victory over the Marauders at Bob Stein Stadium in non-conference action.

The 8th-ranked Saints are off to their best start in school history, moving to 8-1 on the year after battling back with consecutive wins to earn the series victory against Millersville. The loss drops the Marauders to 1-2 on the year after their season-opening series.

In a game that featured eight lead changes, the final time is all that mattered as the Saints pushed across three seventh-inning runs on just one hit to take the lead for good and hold on the for victory. Millersville's Adam Zipko walked one and hit three batters in the frame to spark the rally, while Terrell Jones came up with a huge two-run double down the left field line to give the Saints the lead for good.

A scary moment in the top of the seventh inning still holds strong in the mind of North Georgia fans as Chad Sage and Jordan Erisman collided in left field in pursuit of a fly ball, forcing both PBC All-Conference performers to leave the game. After an ambulance arrived on the scene, both players were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for further evaluation.

Denver Stovall and Alan Fredriksson checked in for the injured players and Millersville broke the deadlock with two runs in the inning, but North Georgia answered in the bottom half of the frame to take the rubber game of the weekend series.

Jacob Rickett came on in the ninth inning, allowing a leadoff single, but stranding he runner on  second as the senior closer nailed down his third save of the season. Daniel Warzon was credited with the win in his first appearance on the mound in a North Georgia uniform, tossing 2.0 innings and allowing two hits and no earned runs, while striking out one.

Offense dominated the opening innings as North Georgia starter Michael Patton was lifted after 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits while walking a trio of Millersville batters. The Saints matched the Marauders step-for-step with four runs in the first inning and a single run in the third frame as the two teams were tied heading to the fifth inning before exchanging blows once again late in the game.

Erisman finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Sage had a hit and three runs batted in before both players left the game. Kenny Bellavance and Brad Hall each tallied a pair of hits in the weekend finale, while Derek Hooper went 1-for-4 at the plate, extending his current hitting streak to a team-leading nine games, having hit safely in every game this season.

North Georgia will have a week off before returning to action next weekend at UNC Pembroke to open Peach Belt Conference action. The PBC opener will be a top-25 showdown as the Braves are currently ranked 18th in the country with an 11-0 record.