MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Having rebounded from an early six-run hole Thursday in the 2013 NCAA Southeast Regional, the No. 25 Georgia College baseball team (33-18) was felled in the bottom of the ninth inning on a walk-off grand slam by No. 3 USC Aiken (42-11), 11-7.
The Bobcats now fall to the losers' bracket in the double elimination tournament, facing No. 6-seed Lincoln Memorial University.
USCA, the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Regular-Season Champions, put up runs in each of the first three innings to take an early 6-0 lead. Georgia College responded in the fourth with a four-run inning, as a Cody Maas (Alpharetta, Ga.) sacrifice fly was followed by a two-run double from Mikee Moore (Dunwoody, Ga.) and an RBI single by Rob Hogenkamp (St. Louis).
The Bobcats knotted it up at 6-6 in the fifth, when Maas ripped a single to center that was mishandled by the Pacer centerfielder, plating two runs.
The game remained tied until the seventh, when each team traded solo shots. First baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) ripped his blast to right for the brief lead, and then Ty Barkell tied it up again with a shot to left.
Tied 7-7 to the bottom of the ninth, the Bobcats were hoping to force extra innings. The Pacers put their first three hitters on in the inning, however, and after a foul out, USCA catcher Josh Miller sent a ball down the left field line and over the fence for the 11-7 walk-off win.
Ardeeser finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) had two singles in four trips, scoring a run as well.
Righty reliever Jordan Modine (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) picked up his first loss in Division II (3-1) but threw better than the final numbers show, giving the Bobcats a pair of scoreless innings prior to the mistake to Barkell. USCA closer Taylor Grover (5-0) picked up the win in a scoreless ninth.
The Bobcats play an elimination game against LMU tomorrow, May 17 at 11 a.m.
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