MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - No. 8 Georgia College & State University baseball (25-10, 12-6 PBC) split a doubleheader with No. 23 Francis Marion University (22-13-1, 10-9 PBC) at John Kurtz Field today (April 4) winning 4-1 before a 9-3 nightcap loss. The Bobcats took the series with the Patriots 2-1.
Game one featured a great start from righty Eric Pettepher (Gordon, Ga.) going six innings with just one unearned run, fanning six and allowing five hits. The sophomore improves to 5-2 with the win.
Pettepher combined with Ryan Tabor (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany) to toss the final eight innings scoreless. Dewald tossed the last inning for his eighth save, good for second in the GCSU single-season recordbooks.
FMU lefty and reigning Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Pitcher of the Week Josh Edgin (1-2) went all eight innings in the loss.
FMU got the scoring started in the first, when designated hitter Jacob Wallace singled home second baseman Colby Green, who led off reaching on an error. The Bobcats answered with two of their own in the bottom half, all without the benefit of a hit.
Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.) led off with a walk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Buddy Elmore (Dallas). Leftfielder Andrew Evans (Milledgeville, Ga.) beat out a double-play ball later in the inning, allowing Chander Snell (Loganville, Ga.) to score the go-ahead run.
Insurance runs came in the fifth and eighth, as second baseman Brooks Robinson (Evans, Ga.) led off the fifth with a single to right, eventually scoring on a double play. Reserve Paul Bordon (Martinez, Ga.) capped the scoring with a single to left, plating Derek Johns (Waynesville, Ga.) who led off with a walk. Harrell finished 3-for-3 in game one, scoring once.
In game two, the Patriots put up seven runs combined in the first two innings, and the Bobcats were unable to recover. The three first inning runs were plated in three consecutive plays, as designated hitter Jared Barkdoll singled home centerfielder Martin Gordon, a Keon Graves sacrifice fly scored shortstop Barrett Kleinknecht and a Patrick Shuey double scored Barkdoll.
The four-run second featured a pair of RBI doubles by Kleinknecht and Graves, followed by a Shuey two-run blast to left center.
Francis Marion starter Jeremiah Meiners (4-1) was the beneficiary of the early run support, tossing a seven-inning effort, fanning eight and allowing three runs on seven hits. After Bobcat starter Clete Jessup (Darien, Ga.) (4-2) struggled through the first two innings, reliever Kyle Cravey (Cordele, Ga.) tossed six strong, striking out five and allowing two runs in the eighth.
Harrell was 2-for-4 with a run, finishing the day 5-for-7 with two runs scored. Johns, Robinson and Steve Muoio (Rochester, N.Y.) all recorded RBI for GCSU.
Each of the top five FMU hitters had multi-hit performances in game two, combining for nine RBI and 12 hits. Shuey finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run, while Gordon was 3-for-4 with two runs. Kleinknecht scored twice and drove in two on a 3-for-5 game.
The Bobcats remain atop the PBC Standings at 12-6 in league play, one game ahead of Columbus State University. The Patriots stand fourth at 10-9.
The Bobcats are back in action Tuesday, April 7 at 4 p.m., hosting Albany State University. The Patriots host Belmont Abbey College Thursday, April 9 at 3 p.m.
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