DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia baseball team kept things relatively close in game-one of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader with the University of North Carolina Pembroke, but the Saints were unable to keep up offensively with the 18th-ranked Braves in Friday's doubleheader as UNCP swept the two games by scores of 7-4 and 6-1 at Bob Stein Stadium.
The loss drops the Saints to 10-20 for the season with a 3-3-11 mark in the PBC while the Braves improve to 25-8 overall and 13-7 in the league, which has them fourth in the PBC standings. No. 18 UNC Pembroke out hit North Georgia 18-11 between the two games.
Game 1: #18 UNC Pembroke 7, North Georgia 4
The Braves took an early 4-1 lead through the first three innings off four hits including a three-run home run to left field by Zade Denton. Denton ended the first game 3-for-4 at the plate with his four RBI and one run scored.
The Saints were able to plate single runs from Jesse Strickland (2-4) in the bottom of the third and fifth innings to keep the game close, but were unable to get over the hump as UNCP scored another three runs in the top of the eighth.
Eason Spivey was able to push another two runs across for North Georgia in the bottom of the eighth when he singled to deep right-center field, scoring Tremayne Toorie and Derek Hooper, but that would be the last of the scoring for the Saints until late in the second game.
Taylor Keinat (1-5) pitched the first two and one-third innings, giving up four hits and four earned runs while accepting the loss for North Georgia while Ethan Carter (9-0) pitched six and one-third innings and struck out four to earn the win for UNCP. Patrick McMahon came in for the final two and two-thirds innings to record his fourth save of the season.
Game 2: #18 UNC Pembroke 6, North Georgia 1
The day's second game saw the Braves hold the Saints scoreless until the very end. UNCP scored two runs in the second, one in the fourth and three final runs in the sixth off 10 hits.
In his first trip to the plate this season, Andrew Gordon helped North Georgia avoid the shutout as he ripped a solo home run half way up the hill behind left field. It was one of just two hits the Saints could muster in the game as Jordan Deloatch (3-0) pitched the complete game with four strikeouts compared to three walks, two hits and the lone run.
Clint Spratlin (1-2) pitched the first seven and two-thirds innings for North Georgia and, despite giving up 10 hits, was able to strike out seven batters.
The two will close out the three-game series with a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 30.