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Chargers drop conference opener

Georgia Highlands College baseball

The Georgia Highlands College baseball team is off to arguably its best start in program history, but the Chargers stumbled out of the gate Saturday as they opened Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association conference play in Statesboro against East Georgia with a 13-5 loss.

The Bobcats took an early lead over Georgia Highlands and the Chargers’ offense never caught up.

East Georgia took a 7-0 lead after only two innings and extended that lead to 9-0 through five innings before the Chargers got on the scoreboard.

GHC posted three runs in the sixth to pull within six, but the Bobcats — who pounded out 17 hits in the game — added runs in each of the next three frames for an eventual 13-5 win.

Parker Stahlman, Drew Haywood, and Kevin Jimenez combined for 10 hits, six runs, and five RBI to lead the East Georgia offense. Haywood homered and doubled in a four-hit day. Pitchers Rhett Gay and Tyler Owens limited GHC to only two earned runs on seven hits and struck out 10.

Zach Miller was the only Charger with two hits. Blake Brady (RBI), Nick Piccapietra (RBI), Skylar McPhee, Parker Orr (2 RBI), and Austin Foster had one hit each.

Georgia Highlands’ starter Drew Wilson was touched for seven runs (three earned) on nine hits and one walk. Tyler Sellers (5 IP, 4R, 2ER, 8H, 3BB, 1K) and Matt Norton (1 IP, 2ER, 0H, 4BB, 2K) pitched in relief for the Chargers.

Georgia Highlands (13-6, 0-1 GCAA) hosts Macomb (Mich.) Sunday at noon and will play a four-game series with conference foe Abraham Baldwin College Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Wednesday’s game is at LakePoint. Friday’s game and Saturday’s doubleheader will be in Tifton.

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