By: Reid Van Woert, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
GREENWOOD, S.C. – The No. 26 Georgia College Baseball program (23-9, 10-6 PBC) was victorious in game one of the weekend series against Lander University (17-19, 10-8), defeating the Bearcats 8-7 at Dolny Stadium Friday evening.
The Bearcats made it a close game late in the contest, but the Bobcats got out to an early lead and maintained it through the entirety of the ballgame. Georgia College plated eight runs on 12 hits while their counterpart pushed across seven runs on 11 hits.
Georgia College got on the board early after posting two runs in the top of the first frame. The Bobcats managed their early lead due to a two-run single to center field from sophomore Wesley Wommack (Monroe, Georgia). The Bearcats scored one in the bottom of the first, giving the Bobcats a 2-1 lead heading into the second.
Georgia College created some separation in the top of the second when they posted a four-spot, lengthening their lead to five runs. Freshman Cal Gentry (Perry, Georgia) got things going with a sacrifice fly to push across the first run of the inning. Catcher Brandon Purcell (Glennville, Georgia) followed up Gentry by ripping a two-RBI double to right field to extend the Bobcat lead further. Georgia College tacked on one more when Brandon Benson (Loganville, Georgia) smashed his Peach Belt Conference (PBC) leading 17th home run of the season, giving the Bobcats a 6-1 after just two innings of play. Benson has now homered in each of the last three games.
Georgia College went on a scoring drought until the eighth inning, while Lander managed to chip away and make it a 6-4 ballgame after seven. The Bobcats added some needed insurance in the top of the eighth when they posted two more runs on a two-run single from the red-hot Benson to make it 8-4. Benson finished his evening going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Lander fought right back in the bottom half of the frame by scoring three more to make it a tight ballgame heading into the ninth, 8-7.
Nothing doing for the Bobcat offense in the top of the ninth, but senior Grant Khan (Richmond, Texas) shut the Bearcats down in the bottom half to earn his fifth save of the season and a win for Georgia College. Senior Brady Walsh (Marietta, Georgia) got his first start of the year and threw quite well to earn his fourth win of the season. Walsh tossed 4 1/3 while allowing three earned on six hits and three strikeouts.
Georgia College will look to take the series with another win against the Lander Bearcats in an afternoon matchup Saturday, April 8 at 2 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.