By Michael Hokanson, Sports Information Assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College Baseball (20-13, 9-10 PBC) faced a hard loss after Friday's game against No. 14 Lander University (31-9, 18-7 PBC). The Bearcats took advantage of several multi-run innings early to nab a 16-1 victory in the first game of the three-game weekend set.
Lander's scoring began early when a single up the middle plated two Bearcats, but starter Jonathan McKinney (Marietta) stopped them from putting up any more runs in the first with back-to-back strikeouts. Georgia College hoped to begin a comeback when centerfielder Logan Mattix (Loganville) popped a home run over the right field fence for the first Bobcat run. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Bobcats posted through nine innings; the Bearcat pitchers racking up strikeouts while their fielders showed a consistent, rock-solid defense.
The Bearcats added eight runs across innings two and three before they were kept scoreless in the fourth as reliever Bradley Spinner (Roswell) collected three strikeouts from Lander that inning. Lander picked up six more runs before they faced three scoreless innings late after the Bobcats regrouped and reestablished a bulwark, but Georgia College couldn't mount an offensive rally.
Mattix was the only Bobcat to break through the Bearcat defense with his RBI in the first inning. This home run marks the 10th for Mattix this season. Shortstop Brandon Benson (Loganville) was 3-for-4 with three singles, while catcher Brandon Purcell (Glennville) added a pair of infield singles.
The Georgia College pitchers recorded a total of nine strikeouts against Lander spread out evenly between the three pitchers. McKinney (0-2) had three strikeouts, but was tagged with the loss after giving up seven runs in just under two innings. Spinner pitched just over three innings and struck out three batters while controlling the ball. Reliever Brady Walsh (Marietta) had three strikeouts and three scoreless innings, only giving up two hits and two runs during his four total innings on the mound.
The loss drops the Bobcats to 9-10 in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) play this season, positioned sixth in the league standings. The top eight teams advance to the PBC Tournament in May.
Georgia College will take on Lander for game two of the weekend series tomorrow, April 9, at 4 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 social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.