February 16, 2012

Saints Run Win-Streak to Four, Tame Wolves on the Road

Contact: Steve Cunha, sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

CARROLLTON, GA - Timely hitting and strong relief pitching led the North Georgia baseball team to a 3-2 victory over West Georgia on Thursday evening at Cole Field. 

The Saints (5-2) won their fourth straight contest after starting the season 1-2, while West Georgia (2-2) dropped their second straight home game.

Jacob Beauchamp earned his first collegiate win, pitching 2.1 innings of scoreless relief and surrendering only one hit. Matt Smith picked up his first save of the year, working a scoreless ninth and stranding the potential tying run just 90 feet away. 

The Saints opened the scoring in the top of the first when Jordan Erisman led off the game with an infield single and was moved into scoring position thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Derek Hooper. After a botched pickoff attempt moved Erisman to third, Jones singled to center to give North Georgia the early lead.

West Georgia wasted no time evening the score when Andy Marinelli stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the first inning took Saints starter Wes Coberly deep to even the score. 

Both teams remained scoreless until the fourth when they combined to score three runs on five hits. In the top half of the frame, Dustin Carpenter drove a one out single to left field and Travis Naraine singled down the left field line to send Carpenter racing around to third.

Wolves starter Max Aeschlimann then walked Andrew Gordon to load the bases for freshman Eason Spivey. For the second time in as many games Spivey delivered, singling through the left to plate Carpenter and make it 2-1. Erisman followed with a fielder's choice to third, scoring Naraine and giving the Saints a 3-1 lead. 

In the bottom half of the frame the Wolves responded when Garrett May sent a two-out double down the left field line, cutting the North Georgia lead to one and chasing Coberly from the game. Beauchamp came on in relief and forced a groundout to second to end the Wolves' threat.

Over the final 5.1 innings Beauchamp, Resse Patten and Matt Smith held West Georgia scoreless, while surrendering only one hit to help the Saints escape with the 3-2 victory. Patten got out of the biggest jam, entering the game in the seventh and quickly finding himself in a bases loaded one out situation, but the sophomore notched back-to-back strikeouts to strand all three West Georgia base runners. 

Offensively, Terrell Jones and Matthew Black had multi-hit games for the Saints, while Erisman reached base safely for the seventh straight contest.

During their four-game winning streak the Saints' bullpen has thrown 14.1 scoreless innings allowing only six hits and striking out 13. 

The Saints return to diamond this Saturday when they play host Northern Kentucky in their home opener. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Stay tuned for possible weekend changes as inclement weather is forecasted for southeast region.