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Chargers win GCAA tournament championship

The Georgia Highlands College baseball team fell behind early, but took control in the middle innings and captured the 2017 GCAA Championship Tournament championship game with an 8-3 win Saturday over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Playing as the home team in the title game at LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson, ABAC took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The Chargers scored twice in the second and one more in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead, but the Stallions tied the game with a run in the bottom half of the third.

GHC took the lead for good with a three-run sixth inning and added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings to complete their unbeaten run through the conference tournament.

Colby Taylor tossed a nine-inning complete-game for the Chargers to earn the pitching victory. He scattered five hits and a walk while allowing three earned runs on a pair of homers. He fanned 10 ABAC batters.

Caleb McElwaney had three hits and one RBI for the Chargers. Grant Bodison also had a three hit game that included a double. Matt Vaccaro had two hits including a double and one RBI. Nick Fink and Nick Piccapietra each added a double and one RBI apiece. John White and Bronco O’Brien each contributed one hit in Georgia Highlands’ 12-hit attack.

The Chargers (40-19) won three consecutive games in the tournament. They had wins over Andrew College, South Georgia, and then ABAC in the finals. The tournament title is the first conference championship for coach Dash O'Neill's Chargers in his first season at the helm. (photo)

GHC, along with Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association regular season winner East Georgia, advance to the NJCAA East Central District Championship Wednesday through Friday at Dyersburg State CC in western Tennessee. The winner of that double-elimination district tournament will advance to the NJCAA World Series May 27-June 3 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

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