CARY, N.C. – The No. 4 Georgia College & State University baseball team (39-16) took No. 1-ranked UC-San Diego (52-7) to the limit Saturday evening, falling victim to a walk-off RBI single for a 3-2 loss in the opening day of the Division II College World Series.
Senior righty Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany) battled all game long, fanning nine Triton batters in his third-straight complete game (11-3). UCSD third baseman Evan Kehoe led off the ninth with a hit batsman, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and with two down, scored from second base on a single by second baseman Grant Bauer.
“I was disappointed in the loss,” said GCSU head coach Tom Carty. “UC-San Diego did a great job from the get-go and punched us in the mouth. We responded well to limit the damage in the first inning and tying up the game in the later innings, but we didn't do enough to finish it off.”
The Tritons got on the board in the first inning, utilizing a single, a stolen base, a wild pitch and sacrifice fly to scratch across a run. They added another in the fifth on an RBI double by rightfielder Kyle Saul. Georgia College tied the game in the sixth, rattling off five singles in the inning.
Leftfielder Kyle Allen (Conyers, Ga.) singled and later scored on a safety by rightfielder Shawn Ward (Martinez, Ga.). First baseman Matt Pitts (Brunswick, Ga.) then drove home third baseman Steve Muoio (Rochester, N.Y.) with an infield single to third. Catcher Richard Pirkle (Norcross, Ga.) then ripped a single through the left side with Ward attempting to score from second. A strong throw from the top fielding team in Division II baseball cut down the go-ahead run at the plate, setting up the ninth-inning UCSD heroics.
Righty Tim Shibuya (13-2) won with a full nine innings of work, allowing two runs on eight hits. He fanned four Bobcat batters. Dewald allowed three runs on eight hits, walking three for just his third loss this season.
“I thought I had a chance in the later innings,” said Dewald. “I found my curveball a little better and I thought I would be able to use it to get through. I like to get the win, and I just guess it wasn't enough today.”
Pitts finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Pirkle also had two hits on four trips, the two men attributing for half of the team's hits. For UCSD, Saul was 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI, while leadoff hitter Vance Albitz finished 2-for-4 with two runs.
The loss sends Georgia College to the loser's bracket, facing No. 2 University of Tampa in an elimination game Monday, May 24 at 3 p.m. Catch the broadcast on 102.3FM WKZR or www.country102fm.com .
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.