April 25, 2012

Saints' 9th Inning Rally Comes up Short in Loss to West Georgia

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia baseball team allowed four early runs on Wednesday evening and fell 7-5 at the hands of the University of West Georgia at Bob Stein Stadium in non-conference action. 

The Saints (23-23) see their three-game winning streak come to an end with the loss, while the Wolves (22-19) have now won four of their last five games. The two clubs split the season series with both teams picking up wins on the road.

West Georgia jumped on the board in the first inning when Stuart Drew led off the game with a walk and came around to score on an Evan Hester single through the right side. 

The Wolves' bats stayed hot in the second inning when Tanner Drennen doubled down the left field line to lead off the frame and Adam Whitlock followed and belted a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left center to make it 3-0. UWG added another run later in the inning to jump on top 4-0.

The Saints used some two-out magic in the second inning when Eason Spivey lined a double to the gap in the left center to bring Travis Naraine to the plate and Derek Hooper singled two batters later to pull North Georgia to within two runs at 4-2.

After the Wolves added an insurance run in the sixth, the Saints mounted a rally in the seventh when Kenny Bellavance, Matthew Black and Terrell Jones recorded back-to-back-to-back hits to plate a run. After making it 5-3, North Georgia was in prime position to pull even closer, but Naraine went down swinging and Andrew Gordon grounded out to end the threat. 

The Wolves added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings to make it 7-5 before the Saints made it interesting in the ninth. With North Georgia down to their final out and two runners on, the Saints pulled to within two runs when Naraine and Gordon laced back-to-back singles through the left side to make it 7-5. Dustin Carpenter had a chance to keep the rally going, but looked at strike three to end the threat and give the Wolves a win on the road.

Jesse Coxwell (3-3) suffered the loss in just 1.0 inning of work, allowing five hits and four earned runs, while walking one. The Saints' relief pitchers did their job over the final eight innings, giving up just one earned run. 

Alex Wilson (3-2) picked up the win in relief for the Wolves, tossing 4.1 innings and not allowing a hit. He issued three free passes and tallied two strikeouts. Alex Allen came on to record the final out and pick up his second save of the season.

The Saints return to action over the weekend, welcoming Lander University to town for a three-game series. The two squads will play a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, followed by a single game on Monday.