FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Cunha, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBUS, GA – The North Georgia baseball team was eliminated from the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Thursday morning losing 11-2 to USC Aiken at Historic Golden Park.
The Saints (24-28) put a lid on their first sub-.500 season under head coach Tom Cantrell, while the Pacers (35-17) avenged an early season loss to the Saints and they will take on the loser of the Montevallo and Armstrong game.
The Pacers wasted no time getting on the board as they capitalized on a North Georgia error in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. USC-Aiken's Stephen Carmon sent a liner off the glove of Saints starter Taylor Keinat and moved into scoring position after Keinat's toss to first sailed well over first basemen Matthew Black's head.
The next batter, Pacers catcher Josh Miller, made Keinat pay as he lined a 2-1 pitch into left field sending the speedy Carmon charging home for the game's first run.
After the Saints went quietly in the first, USC Aiken was back at it in the second as they ran their lead to 2-0 with a two-out rally. Adam Anderson singled through the left side and moved into scoring position after a wild pitch. Leadoff hitter Bryce Baur followed with a grounder up the middle that Derek Hooper snagged, but his off balance throw was not in time. Anderson, who was running on contact, came around from second to score on a ball that did not leave the infield.
The Pacers added to their lead again in the top of the fourth when Tyler Bourdo and Anderson hit back-to-back one-out homeruns to left field chasing Keinat from the contest.
After cruising through the first 4.2 innings, Pacers starter Kelly Holt got himself into some trouble. Holt walked Travis Naraine and Eason Spivey followed with a single through the left side. Dustin Carpenter battled in his at-bat to force another walk to load the bases for senior leadoff hitter Jordan Erisman. After getting down in the count 1-2 Erisman worked a full count before chasing an off-speed pitch to end the threat.
The Saints cut into the deficit an inning later mounting a two-out rally as freshman Andrew Gordon singled to right field to bring Matthew Black racing home. With runners on second and third Holt once again buckled down and got Naraine to foul out to third base.
In the seventh, North Georgia was at it again cutting the Pacer lead to just four with another two-out rally. The Saints whacked three straight singles the last of which came off the bat of Kenny Bellavance and brought Erisman home. Holt was able to wiggle his way out of the jam for the third straight inning as Black flew out to deep right to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth, the Pacers put the game out of reach when Will Tankersley hit a three-run homer to left field.
Holt (6-4) picked up the victory tossing eight innings allowing two runs and striking out ten, while also picking off two runners. Keinat (4-5) was tabbed with the loss as he worked 3.2 innings allowing five runs on nine hits.
Hooper led the charge offensively for the Saints recording three of the team's eight hits.
To visit the 2012 Tournament Site - click here