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Fast out of the gate, the Chargers sprint past the Stallions to open the GCAA Tournament

May 7, 2024

Dash O'Neill, Georgia Highlands College baseball
Coach Dash O'Neill has the Chargers at 49-7 this season and nationally ranked.

Top-seeded Georgia Highlands College baseball took its first post-season step forward Tuesday afternoon on its home field in Cartersville, defeating ABAC 11-3 in seven innings in the second round of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. GHC had a first-round bye on Monday. Abraham Baldwin defeated East Georgia State 15-4 on Monday in the opening round. Trip Dovale tossed a complete game on the mound for the Chargers, Ryan Martin homered twice, and Clay Wiesen was 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. 

“The first inning was a big key for us today,” said GHC coach Dash O’Neill. “They got a lead-off hit but Dovale got out of it with a double play and a strikeout. (Luke) Orfi and (Clay) Wiesen then went back-to-back to start the game. It was a huge boost.”

Former Roswell Hornet, Trip Dovale, was the winning pitcher for the Chargers on Tuesday.

The Chargers posted four runs in the bottom of the first and added single runs in the second and third frames to build a 6-0 advantage. The Stallions hit solo home runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings to produce their runs. GHC made it 8-2 through six innings with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The Chargers then ended the game by run rule in the bottom of the seventh by posting three more runs.

Georgia Highlands outhit ABAC twelve to six and did not commit an error.

Dovale (7 IP, 3ER, 6H, 0BB, 5K) fanned five and issued no walks to collect the pitching win. He improved to 11-1 on the season with his third complete game. 

Heritage, Pennsylvania native, Clay Wiesen, went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three RBIs on Tuesday as the Chargers beat ABAC 11-3.

Wiesen paced the offense with four hits including a homer, a double, and three RBIs. Orfi (solo home run, double), Ryan Martin (two solo homers), and Gray Wilson (two RBIs) had two hits each. Grayson Godbee (double, RBI) and Ryan Wideman (RBI) added one hit. Ali Banks chipped in with one RBI.

ABAC (19-30) falls to the elimination round on Wednesday at 10 a.m. against the Gordon State / South Georgia State loser from Tuesday afternoon.

Third-ranked nationally, Georgia Highlands (49-7) plays the Gordon State / South Georgia State winner on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the conference championship round on Thursday needing just one additional win to take the title in the double-elimination tournament.

Gordon State and South Georgia State were scheduled for a 3 p.m. start on Tuesday.

“Both of those teams are good,” said O’Neill. “It will be a challenge whoever we face.”


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