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Chargers strike first in series with South Georgia

Douglas, Ga. — Georgia Highlands fell behind 4-0 Tuesday evening at South Georgia State CC but rallied for four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to secure an important 8-6 conference win.

With the victory, the Chargers remain within one-half game of first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association standings.

GHC tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fifth.

Jonathan White doubled and moved to third on a hit by Trenton Nutter. Clint Tonini walked to load the bases before Devin Bilardello drove in a run with an infield single. Brandon Bell then delivered the big blow with a triple to centerfield that cleared the bases.

The Chargers took the lead in the next inning.

Nick Fink and Nutter singled to open the frame, then Mitch Burger reached on a squeeze bunt that scored Fink and allowed Nutter to move to third. Tonini drove in the next run with a groundout and Bilardello and Bell added RBI singles for an 8-4 lead.

The Hawks scored twice in the seventh to cut the Chargers’ advantage to 8-6 and managed a pair of baserunners in the ninth. GHC pitcher, Will Griffin, ended the late threat with a strikeout to earn a save.

Georgia Highlands used five pitchers. Daniel Gooden (3.1 IP, 4R, 3ER, 4H, 5BB, 5K) started. Sean Wilson (3 IP, 2R, 1ER, 3H, 3BB, 1K), Blake Metivier (1BB), Colby Taylor (1.2 IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB, 1K), and Griffin (1 IP, 0R, 0H, 1BB, 2K) all worked in relief.

Wilson was credited with the pitching win.

Bell (4 RBI), Bilardello (2 RBI), White, and Nutter all had two hits each for the Chargers. Zach McCrum and Fink had the other hits.

South Georgia is now 23-17 overall and 8-5 in the GCAA. The Hawks are tied with the Chargers and ABAC for second place in the conference --- one-half game behind Darton. The Cavaliers are 8-4 in the GCAA.

Georgia Highlands (23-18, 8-5) will now host the remainder of the series with South Georgia at LakePoint in Emerson. The two teams are scheduled for a single game Friday night at 6pm and will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1pm.

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