April 23, 2011

Saints Silence Tornado Bats, Complete Series Sweep

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team has won seven of their last eight games following a doubleheader sweep over King College on Saturday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium in non-conference action.

The Saints improve to 29-16 overall and 19-2 in non-conference action, while the King College losing streak hits nine games as the Tornado fall to 20-21 on the year. North Georgia captured the opener 3-1, before blanking King College 4-0 in the nightcap.

King College scored the first run of the day in the third inning, as Brad Blanton led off with a single through the left side and came around to score on an error to put the Tornado up by a run.

Both offenses would go quiet until the sixth inning when Troy Snitker was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and after a Terrell Jones put down a sacrifice bunt, Kenny Bellavance singled up the middle to plate Snitker and knot the score at 1-1.

With the score still deadlocked in the bottom of the eighth, it was Snitker who got another rally started, this time coaxing a five pitch walk and coming around to score on a Jones double to the gap in right center to give the Saints their first lead of the day at 2-1. Jones would race to the plate later in the inning on a throwing error to give North Georgia all the runs they would need in a 3-1 victory.

Wes Coberly tossed 5.0 innings and allowed just three hits and no earned runs, but Jacob Rickett (6-2) picked up the victory in relief, recording the final five outs and striking out one close out King College. Nick Melcher (3-3) suffered the loss for the Tornado out of the bullpen, allowing two runs on just one hit, while walking a pair.

Game two was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Saints put together a trio of base knocks, including back-to-back RBI hits by Brad Hall and Alan Fredriksson to give the Saints a 2-0 advantage.

In the seventh, the Saints put a pair of runners on base with two outs before a Tornado fielding error sent Snitker and Derek Hooper trotting to double the North Georgia lead and make it 4-0.

Blake Hobby (6-3) went the distance for the Saints, allowing just two hits and no runs for his first complete game shutout of the year. Wesley Houser (2-4) was the tough luck loser, giving up two runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings of work for the Tornado.

The Saints return to action on Tuesday, April 26, welcoming the University of West Georgia to town for a 5:00 p.m. matchup at Bob Stein Stadium. North Georgia will oppose the Wolves for the second time this season after taking down West Georgia 4-2 in Carrollton last month. The Saints used a three-run ninth inning rally for what would be the first of six straight victories.