by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate assistant
AIKEN, S.C. – Putting up five runs in the eighth inning and out-scoring opponents 8-1 over the final three frames, the No. 19 Georgia College & State University baseball team (17-10, 9-3 PBC) downed another top Peach Belt Conference (PBC) competitor Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats defeated No. 7 USC Aiken (22-10, 11-4 PBC) 14-12.
Centerfielder Sean Harrell (Martinez, Ga.), first baseman Matt Pitts (Brunswick, Ga.) and catcher BentonYaun (Marietta, Ga.) all had three hits for Georgia College. Pitts had a team-best four RBI, while Yaun added two RBI and two runs scored.
In the second inning, rightfielder Shawn Ward (Martinez, Ga.) hit a two-run homer to put the Bobcats up 2-1.
Georgia College responded by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth. Second baseman Jason Veyna (Lamar, Colo.) hit a home run to left field with two on base. Once again, USC Aiken came back big, scoring four runs themselves to extend their lead to 11-6, then the Georgia College bats took over.
In the seventh inning, Harrell and Pitts singled to get the Bobcats going. Yaun followed with a double to knock in his teammates. Yaun later scored when Ward reached on an error.
The Bobcat bats came alive again in the top of the eighth as they scored five more runs. Veyna walked to start the inning and then scored when Snell reached first on an error. Three batters later Pitts hit a grand slam to give the ‘Cats the 14-11 advantage.
Senior righty Brendon Malkowski (Schenectady, N.Y.) threw three shutout innings of relief including the seventh inning.
With two outs and two runners on in the ninth, Georgia College sent in their ace Martin Dewald (Mannheim, Germany) to get the final out. The senior righty did just that, striking out the only batter he faced to get his first save of the season.
USC Aiken’s Alex Franklin, David Vitko and preseason all-conference player Travis Howard all led their team with three hits. Bill Rice had a team-best three RBI.
The Bobcats hit the field against Clark Atlanta University at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 at John Kurtz Field.
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.