Grizzlies blast past Point with late rally

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Georgia Gwinnett baseball team rallied from a 4-0 deficit with seven runs over its final four at bats to steal a 7-5 victory over Point University on Tuesday evening at the Grizzly Baseball Complex.

The Grizzlies (12-6) pushed in front with a two-run seventh then broke a deadlock in the bottom of the eighth with the game's final two runs.

Robbie Payne and Pat Long each had two hits to lead the GGC attack while Drew Riley (4-1) struck out four over the final three innings to seal the victory.

"This was an outstanding team win by our club tonight," head coach Brad Stromdahl said. "Our intensity was tremendous all night long and it translated onto the field."

The Grizzlies are 3-0 in their new on-campus home since opening it Saturday after a month on the road.

"They threw a very tough starter who kept us to one hit through five inning but we made adjustments and the plays we needed to make coming down the stretch," Stromdahl said. "It just feels great to play at home."

The Skyhawks (11-10) took advantage of a pair of GGC errors in the fourth inning and pushed across four runs for a 4-0 lead.

Jereid Woods drove in the Grizzlies' first score in the fifth with an RBI groundout. GGC pulled within one thanks to three singles in the sixth and a sacrifice fly from Sloan Strickland.

Georgia Gwinnett starter Tyler Carpenter kept the Grizzlies close by allowing just four Skyhawks hits over six innings.

The Grizzlies then pushed in front with a two-run seventh. Phillip Bates tied the game with an RBI triple and Antonio Allen's sac fly made it 5-4 for the Grizzlies.

Point tied the game in the next inning on Kevin Dawkins' RBI double, but the Grizzlies answered right back.

Two walks and a pair of wild pitches allowed GGC to take a 6-5 lead when Andrew Prater crossed the plate. An insurance run later came on a double steal as Woods swiped home.

Riley retired the Skyhawks in order in the top of the ninth to give GGC its second win over Point in less than a month.

"Pat Long had a terrific game defensively for our team tonight," Stromdahl said of his junior catcher.

The Grizzlies begin a four-game series against Ohio State-Lima on Thursday with a 7 p.m. first pitch at the Grizzly Baseball Complex. The series continues with a Friday afternoon doubleheader and a single game Saturday.