First-year GGC baseball program reaches 20-win mark

Georgia Gwinnett College's Drew Riley delivers a pitch during Sunday's home doubleheader.

Georgia Gwinnett College's Drew Riley delivers a pitch during Sunday's home doubleheader.

The Georgia Gwinnett College baseball team picked up the 20th win of its inaugural season on Sunday in a doubleheader split against Cumberland University (Tenn.), another 20-win team, at the Grizzly Baseball Complex.

The Grizzlies (20-7) suffered their first home defeat in an 18-5 loss in Game 1 before clawing back with a 7-5 victory in Game 2. GGC is now 10-1 in Lawrenceville this season while the Bulldogs improved to 23-11-1 on the year.

Redshirt sophomore Drew Riley picked up his team-leading seventh victory on the mound while junior Robbie Payne had a team-high four hits on the day.

Payne, Antonio Allen and Central Gwinnett grad Phillip Bates each drove in a pair of runs in the win.

“Overall, it feels very good to earn a split against an incredibly talented and very professional team,” said GGC head coach Brad Stromdahl. “It was a great bounce-back performance in Game 2. We used one big team inning in the fourth that made the difference. Then it was a great job coming in to close the door by Joe Albertson and (Wesleyan's) Frank Warren on the mound.”

The Grizzlies were pelted with 23 Bulldog hits in Game 1 as Cumberland built an 8-1 lead through three innings and used Tyler Adams’ complete-game performance for the win.

In Game 2, GGC found itself in a 4-0 hole in the second inning, but four Grizzly runs in the bottom of the inning tied the game.

With the game still knotted in the fourth, the Grizzlies connected for three scores on RBI hits from Bates and Payne to jump in front, 7-4.

Riley (7-1) struck out five batters through five innings before Albertson and Warren pitched the final two innings. Cumberland scored once in the sixth but Warren’s perfect seventh sealed his first save.

The Grizzlies are scheduled to make up a single game against Covenant College on Monday night at 7 p.m. in Lawrenceville.