TAMPA, Fla. – The No. 26 Georgia College baseball team (0-2) started its season on the road Saturday, battling 2014 NCAA Finalist No. 2 University of Tampa (5-0) to tough doubleheader losses 5-3 and 8-7.
Game one featured a 3-0 lead early for the Spartans carrying into the seventh, where Georgia College tied the game. A run each in the bottom of the seventh and eighth would provide the difference for UT.
Shortstop Brandon Benson (Loganville, Georgia) and third baseman Tanner Giesel (Naperville, Illinois) each had RBI hits in the seventh. Benson was the team's lone multi-hit performer, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, the RBI and a run.
Reliever Bryce Bush (Phoenix, Arizona) was tagged with the loss (0-1) in an inning of work, allowing a run to cross on a sacrifice fly. Freshman Michael McKinney (Dalton, Georgia) was impressive in a pair of scoreless innings, scattering three hits and two walks.
Game two was a more high-scoring affair, as the teams combined for 15 runs on 23 hits. Down 3-0 after two, the Bobcats jumped in front with a four-run third, adding three more in the fifth for a 7-3 advantage, but a five-run fifth for the Spartans would win it.
With all the runs, the Bobcats had just two multi-hit players in rightfielder Jake Sandlin (Evans, Georgia) and Benson, each tallying two hits and a run. Giesel and rookie centerfielder Logan Mattix (Loganville) each drove in a pair. Eight of the nine spots in the order had at least one hit.
The loss (0-1) went to reliever Chris Gammon (Chandler, Arizona) allowing just one run over two innings with a pair of strikeouts.
The Bobcats look to stop the Tampa sweep with a single ballgame beginning tomorrow, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.