April 13, 2013

Saints Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Armstrong, Win Series 2-1

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia (UNG) baseball team split its Peach Belt Conference (PBC) doubleheader with Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) Saturday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium, dropping the first game 11-2 before picking up a 6-5 win in game two. The win in the day's second contest gave the Saints the 2-1 win in the series, their first PBC series win since taking two of three from Augusta State University March 9-10.

Game one: Armstrong Atlantic 11, North Georgia 2

The Saints (15-24, 6-15) struggled mightily in the first game, committing three of their five errors in the first two innings. The Pirates (23-12) were able to only score one run off those errors, but it was enough to spark something as Armstrong went on to score three runs in the third and two more in the fourth compared to one run by North Georgia in the third.

Up 6-1 heading to the ninth, the Pirates added five more runs, including two of the team's five home runs. Four of Armstrong's players that homered in the game did so for the first time this season as Armstrong doubled its home run total after entering the day with just five homers on the season.

Travis Naraine and Stephen Neidigh scored the pair of runs for North Georgia with Eason Spivey securing two hits in the first game. He would later knock two more hits in the second game.

Taylor Keinat (2-6) pitched 8.2 innings that saw him strike out seven batters compared to giving up seven earned runs to accept the loss.

Ethan Bader (6-0) pitched eight full innings with nine strikeouts compared to giving up just three hits, two walks and one earned run.

Game two: North Georgia 6, Armstrong Atlantic 5

After the Pirates controlled the first game, it was the Saints' turn in game-two as they streaked out to a 6-1 lead following a five-run sixth inning.

North Georgia did edge out to an early 1-0 lead with Tremayne Toorie scoring in the bottom of the first, but Armstrong Atlantic matched that run in the top of the third.

After the fourth and fifth frames passed without a runner crossing the plate, the Saints struck again in a hurry in the bottom of the sixth with five runs off five hits and an error. Naraine started things off as he scored off a single to right-center field by Brett Wright before Spivey scored off a single by Cameron Crawford.

Wright, Crawford and Bard Barto all then scored when Derek Hooper singled off the pitcher's mound to punctuate the scoring drive.

Chip Fleming (1-0) pitched the first 8.2 innings of the game, striking out eight batters, in an attempt to go for the complete game, but gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning, prompting the Saints to make a pitching change. Brandon Agar came in for the final out, a strikeout, and secured the win for North Georgia despite giving up one hit.

Tyler Green (1-1) pitched the first six innings for Armstrong and gave up eight hits and six runs, two earned, to accept the loss on the mound.

North Georgia has five more games in the current home stand starting with a single game against Valdosta State University on Wednesday, Apr. 17. The Saints and Blazers will square off on the diamond starting at 5:00 p.m. in what will be UNG's "Residence Life and RA Appreciation Night.