MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Scattering 11 hits for just one run over 16 total innings of action, the No. 32 Georgia College baseball team (2-0) started its season on the right foot Saturday, beating King University (0-5), 18-1 and 7-0 at John Kurtz Field.
On a day that started special with a pre-game ring ceremony for the 2013 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament Champions and a Ceremonial First Pitch by University President Dr. Steve Dorman, the games were equally as special; a pair of dominant Bobcat wins.
The offense was early and often in game one, as Georgia College put up crooked numbers in five of the first six innings. An RBI single by shortstop Daniel Bick (Alpharetta, Ga.) and a pair of bases-loaded walks brought in three runs in the first.
First baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville, Ga.) swatted the first home run of the 2014 season for Bobcat baseball, a towering solo blast to right in the third.
Leftfielder Ryan Sabalaskey (Carol Stream, Ill.) finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run, while Ardeeser was also 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. Bick finished 2-for-4 with three runs and two driven in.
Centerfielder Rob Hogenkamp (St. Louis) hit 2-for-5 with three runs and two RBI, as the first four spots in the order went a combined 12-for- 22 with eight RBI and 11 runs. Second baseman Seth Bancroft (Suwanee, Ga.) added a 2-for-5 effort with an RBI and run in the nine slot.
Righty starter Justin Blue (Mulberry, Fla.) tossed seven innings with eight strikeouts and five hits allowed to start his season 1-0. The loss went to Alexander Gonzalez (0-1) who couldn't escape the second inning. Tornado catcher J.D. Wallace was 2-for-2.
Game two was a pitcher's duel early, scoreless through five innings. The Bobcats exploded in the bottom of the sixth for seven runs on four hits. The big blow of the inning was a three-run double to left off the bat of catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.). Jake Sandlin (Evans, Ga.), Bancroft and Kaleb Holbrook (Dawsonville, Ga.) also recorded RBI.
Junior lefty Josh Taylor (Phoenix) threw six innings of shutout ball in the win (1-0), fanning eight and walking one while scattering three hits. Cory Rhodes took the loss in 5 2/3 innings of work, as Wallace added another multi-hit game at 2-for-3.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m., closing out the series with King at John Kurtz Field.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.