GREENWOOD, S.C. – The No. 5-seed Georgia College baseball team (35-15) upset No. 2-seed University of Mount Olive (40-12) in grand fashion Thursday, a 10-0 Bobcat victory to start off the NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament at Lander University. The Bobcats have never lost at Dolny Stadium in the postseason, the site of Georgia College's 2013 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament title.
The Bobcats pounded Trojan pitching for 12 hits and 10 runs, posting multi-run innings on four occasions, but it was junior righty Spencer Thomas (Loganville, Ga.) that wowed the crowd, allowing just one UMO batter to reach third base in the first shutout of his Bobcat career.
Thomas scattered nine hits and just two walks while throwing 129 pitches in the gem, improving the pitcher to an 8-0 record. Thomas fanned two, but none before the eighth inning, using a defense that was up to the task. The Bobcats turned three double plays, got a pair of sliding catches in the outfield and converted one tough grounder to short deep in the hole.
Rightfielder Jake Sandlin (Evans, Ga.) rapped four hits in five trips, driving in three runs and scoring one of his own. Designated hitter Taylor Hinshaw (Winder, Ga.) had four RBI as part of a 3-for-5 game, including a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to push the Bobcats to double-digits.
Shortstop Daniel Bick (Alpharetta, Ga.) had a solo home run to start the scoring for the Bobcats in the second, finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and two RBI. Catcher Steve Hazel (Kentwood, Mich.) also had two hits and one driven in.
Up 2-0, the Bobcats blew open the game with a four-run fifth, all coming with two outs. After the first two flyouts in the inning, Georgia College loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter. Sandlin drove home two with a single, then Hinshaw and Hazel each brought in one with RBI singles as well.
Derek Justice (9-2) took the loss in 4 2/3 innings of work. First baseman Rob Shipman went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles.
The Bobcats stay in the winner's bracket and take on No. 3-seed Columbus State University tomorrow, May 16 at 7 p.m. The Cougars won their first round game over No. 4-seed USC Aiken in dramatic fashion, a walk-off solo home run for a 3-2 victory.
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.