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Chargers salvage series split with ABAC

The Georgia Highlands baseball team defeated Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 8-2 in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader at LakePoint to salvage a split in this week’s four-game Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association conference series between the two teams.

The Chargers won the opening game of the series Tuesday in Tifton 10-7, but lost both Friday night (4-2) and the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader, 4-0.

In the series finale win, GHC scored six runs in the first inning and two more in the fourth to take control with an 8-0 lead.

Chargers’ starter Drew Wilson (6.1 IP, 2R, 0ER, 6H, 4BB, 4K) kept ABAC off the scoreboard until the Golden Stallions posted a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning. Sam Sowerbrower (0.2 IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB) retired the final two outs.

The Chargers banged out a dozen hits led by Bronco O’Brien, Devin Bilardello, John White (RBI), and Matt Vaccaro (RBI) with two hits each. Caleb McElwaney (2 RBIs), Grant Bodison (RBI), Evan Mask (RBI), and Israel Zackery added hits in the win.

In the 4-0 loss on Saturday, ABAC broke open a 1-0 game in the seventh and final inning with three additional runs.

The Stallions scored on a walk and two singles in the fourth inning, then put together five hits — including a pair of doubles — for their three-run seventh inning.

Five Chargers — Bilardello, Urbina, Grant Bodison, Brandon Bell, and John White had one hit each in the Saturday loss.

GHC starting pitcher, Colby Taylor (6.2 IP, 4R, 3ER, 8H, 0BB, 4K), threw well despite being tagged with the loss. Britt Buckelew (0.1 IP, 0R, 2H, 0BB, 1K) recorded the final out in the seventh.

In Friday night’s 4-2 loss, Georgia Highlands used four pitchers.

Matthew Norton (5 IP, 1R, 0ER, 6H, 1BB, 3K) started and tossed five solid innings. Jeremiah Woods (2 IP, 3R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 1K) was saddled with the hard-luck loss despite not allowing an earned run. Sean Fitzpatrick walked the only batter he faced and Bradley Hood (2 IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB) needed only 13 pitches to get through the final two shutout frames.

Nick Fink hit a two-run homer to account for both Chargers’ runs. Miguel Urbina tripled and Caleb McElwaney doubled. Devin Bilardello and Matt Vaccaro each added one hit.

ABAC is now 24-26 overall and 7-13 in the GCAA.

With eight games remaining in the regular season conference schedule, Georgia Highlands is now 32-16 overall and 9-7 in conference play. The Chargers are currently in third place behind Gordon State (13-3) and East Georgia (13-7).

GHC has a four-game series with conference leading Gordon State next week with single games Tuesday in Barnesville and Thursday at LakePoint. The series also includes a doubleheader Saturday at LakePoint. The Chargers will wrap up the regular season the following week with a four-game set against West Georgia Tech.

The GCAA Championship Tournament will be hosted by Georgia Highlands at LakePoint in Emerson May 10-13.

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