MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A six-run sixth ended a five-game Peach Belt Conference (PBC) win streak for Georgia College baseball (18-14, 7-9 PBC) Friday night at John Kurtz Field, an 11-5 loss to Francis Marion University (22-10, 11-6 PBC).
FMU sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, turning a back-and-forth affair into a Patriot win. The Bobcats gave up six runs on six hits in the inning, including a three-run home run by PBC batting average leader Matt Rubino.
The Patriots used 10 players in the game, as lefty starter Matt Kelley (6-2) threw his second complete game, allowing five earned runs on 12 hits, but fanning 14 Bobcat batters.
The Bobcats got their runs early, as centerfielder Jake Sandlin (Evans) and second baseman Dylan Cook (Portola Valley, California) each hit solo home runs in the first inning. Cook finished 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
Shortstop Brandon Benson (Loganville) and first baseman Clay Ardeeser (Loganville) each had two hits, Benson doubling in the fifth and scoring on Ardeeser's single. Designated hitter Brandon Purcell (Glennville) had three hits in four trips and an RBI double.
Righty reliever Brady Walsh (Marietta) fell to 2-1 with the loss. Senior righty Josh Pape (Locust Grove) was a bright spot on the hill, throwing the final three innings scoreless scattering three hits and two walks.
The Bobcats and Patriots finish up the three-game set in doubleheader action tomorrow, April 4 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.