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Georgia Highlands qualifies for GCAA tourney


Georgia Highlands earned a spot in the post season Saturday with a win in the first game of their doubleheader with West Georgia Tech, 6-4. The Chargers entered Saturday’s doubleheader at LakePoint needing at least one win to lock down a post-season berth in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The Chargers avoided any final game drama and took care of business in the opener, 6-4. Although the visiting Golden Knights won the second game, 11-5, GHC will be one of the six teams in the GCAA tournament next week.


Nick Fink hit a pair of home runs in Game 1 and Georgia Highlands took a commanding 6-1 lead through four innings. WGT did not go easily however. The Golden Knights managed a three-run rally in the fifth on an error, a fielder’s choice, and an RBI single to cut the lead to two runs. That would be as close as they would come, however, as GHC reliever Will Griffin slammed the door with a pair of shutout innings in the sixth and seventh. Griffin struck out four and allowed only two hits and a walk.


Daniel Gooden got the pitching win for the Chargers. He yielded only a pair of earned runs on five hits and four walks. Gooden struck out six WGT batters.


Brandon Bell, Brandon Etheridge, Jonathan White, Mitch Burger, and Devin Bilardello had one hit each in Game 1.


West Georgia Tech grabbed a 9-2 lead through 4 and 1/2 innings in Game 2.


Zach McCrum hit a two-run home run for the Chargers in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 9-4 and Etheridge doubled home a run in the sixth to make it 9-5, but Georgia Highlands could get no closer.


Jacob Olson had three hits, including a pair of homers and four RBI to lead the Golden Knights. Adam Pedraza also homered for WGT.


Tristan Roberts had two hits for the Chargers. Etheridge, Jake Swan, Trenton Nutter, Seth Little, and Kyle Garrard added hits for Georgia Highlands.


The Chargers (27-29) will enter the GCAA tournament May 11-14 at Darton State College in Albany as the league’s No. 5 seed and will face fourth-seeded Gordon State in the opening round (Wed., May 11, 12 noon).


Darton State secured the regular season title and will be the top seed in the tournament. The Cavaliers await the winner of the GHC/Gordon game Thursday, May 12 at noon. South Georgia State finished second in the conference and will also have a first round bye. ABAC was third and will play sixth-seeded East Georgia in the first round May 11.


The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday, May 14. GCAA Final Regular Season Standings


GCAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conf. . . . . . Overall

Darton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21-7 . . . . . . 36-18 South Georgia . . . . . . . . . 20-8 . . . . . 35-20 ABAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-14 . . . . 26-27

Gordon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13-15 . . . . . 28-28 Georgia Highlands . . . . . . 12-16 . . . . . 27-29

East Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . 12-16 . . . . . 25-27 Andrew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-18 . . . . . 21-32 West Georgia Tech . . . . . . 10-18 . . . . . 15-34-1



GCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Wednesday, May 11:

12 p.m. Game 1: #4 Gordon State vs. #5 Georgia Highlands

3:30 p.m. Game 2: #3 ABAC vs. #6 E. Georgia State

7 p.m. Game 3: Game 1loser GSC / GHC vs. Game 2 loser ABAC / EGSC

Thursday, May 12:

12 p.m. Game 4: #1 Darton State vs. Game 1 winner #4 / #5

3:30 p.m. Game 5: #2 S. GA State vs. Game 2 winner #3 / #6

7 p.m. Game 6: Game 4 loser vs. Game 5 loser

Friday, May 13:

12 p.m. Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner

3:30 p.m. Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 6 winner

7 p.m. Game 9: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 winner

Saturday, May 14:

12 p.m. Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner

30 minutes after Game 10. If Game 11:

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770-547-9341