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Chargers win three straight to take GCAA and Region 17 championship

16th-ranked Georgia Highlands captured the 2022 GCAA and Region 17 championship Thursday. The Chargers will travel to No. 1 Walters State (Morristown, Tennessee) next week for a best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the NJCAA World Series.

Georgia Highlands pitchers Eric Moore and Cason Rich combined for a nine inning shutout of South Georgia State Thursday afternoon as the Chargers captured the 2022 GCAA and Region 17 championship with a 14-0 victory over the Hawks.

The Chargers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by David Smith and a sacrifice fly by Parker Poteet.

After going up 3-0 on a groundout, Ethan Anderson hit a two-run home run in the fifth for a 5-0 advantage. Four more runs in the seventh opened the flood gates and a five run eighth for the Chargers put the game away.

Georgia Highlands (44-9), ranked No. 16 in the latest NJCAA poll, finished off the conference and regional championship tournament going 3-0 in the double-elimination format with a win over Gordon State and two wins over the Hawks.

The Chargers now advance to play a best-of-three series next Tuesday through Thursday at No 1-ranked Walters State (55-5) in Morristown, Tennessee. The winner of that series will advance to the NJCAA World Series May 28-June 4 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

“I really proud of these guys,” said Georgia Highlands head coach Dash O’Neill following the victory. “We are going to get after them up there next week.”

Moore scattered four hits and a pair of walks in the first five innings on the mound Thursday. He struck out five. Rich followed on the mound with four shutout frames. He yielded just three hits and no walks while striking out four.

Conner Todaro was 4-for-6 at the plate with three doubles and three RBIs. Zayd Brannigan had three hits including a double with one RBI.

Poteet finished with four RBIs off a double, a home run, and a sac fly and Caden Smith also had a two hit day that included a double, two walks, and one RBI.

David Smith (RBI), Ben Olson, Anderson (2 RBIs), and Mick Moody (double, 2 RBIs) rounded out the Chargers’ 15-hit attack.


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