Georgia Highlands opens conference series with 10-6 win; secures tourney berth

Georgia Highlands’ baseball built a big lead Tuesday afternoon then held off a late rally by East Georgia for a 10-6 win at LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson.

The win also clinched a conference tournament berth for the Chargers with five conference games remaining. Tuesday, the Chargers scored in each of their first four offensive frames and held a 6-2 advantage through six innings. They then added four more runs in the seventh to lead 10-2. The visiting Bobcats threatened with four runs in the top of the ninth and had the bases loaded, when Chargers’ head coach Dash O’Neill inserted pitcher Dalton Rhadans. Rhadans got a groundout to end the threat and GHC had a four-run win in the first game of four this week with East Georgia. The Bobcats out hit the Chargers twelve to nine, but Georgia Highlands was able to convert more often. Ethan Underwood (8 IP, 5R, 4ER, 10H, 0BB, 5K) collected the pitching victory with a solid eight inning performance despite running into trouble in the ninth. Logan Ward (0.2 IP, 1ER, 2H, 2BB, 1K) got the first two outs of the final inning and Rhadans (0.1 IP) needed only three pitches to close out the contest.

East Georgia utilized five pitchers with starter Brandon Blume (4 IP, 6R, 5ER, 7H, 2BB, 1K) taking the loss. Jonathan Lueguering (1 IP, 0R, 0H, 1BB), Jasper Dubberly (1 IP, 0R, 0H, 2K), Jared Dole (0.2 IP, 4R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 1K), and Jacob Tate (1.1 IP, 0R, 0H, 2K) also took the mound for the Bobcats.

Rick Mitchell led East Georgia with four hits and one RBI. Indiana Stanley followed with three hits including a solo home run. Trenton Parker also homered for the Bobcats.

Bryson Horne paced the Chargers with three hits including a double and four RBI. Hunter Moody had two hits including a double and one RBI. Trace Twardoski hit a solo home run while Skylar McPhee (RBI), Parker Orr, and Austin Foster (RBI) added one hit apiece. Malik Spratling drove in a GHC run with a groundout in the first inning.

With the win, the third place Chargers pick up a game in the conference standings on second place East Georgia.

Georgia Highlands (28-20, 14-11 GCAA) travels to Swainsboro Friday and Saturday for the final three games of the series at East Georgia (30-13, 17-7).

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