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Georgia Gwinnett College baseball rallies for victory

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Georgia Gwinnett College baseball team used runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to complete a comeback win over St. Francis (Ind.), 5-4, winning its 13th straight game on Zach Alvord’s walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.

The Grizzlies extended their program-best winning streak and improved to 19-3 overall on the year, dropping the Cougars to 1-10.

Alvord and Robbie Payne led GGC with two hits apiece on the night.

Starter Alex Roberts struck out seven batters in 6.2 innings of work but did not factor in the decision as reliever Austin Smith (3-1) earned the victory.

The Cougars used a pair of first-inning doubles to take an early 1-0 lead, but GGC answered with two scores in the bottom of the inning. Payne drilled an RBI triple and the Grizzlies capitalized on a fielding error to take a 2-1 lead.

The Cougars used a two-out, two-run single to return to the lead in the third inning, 3-2.

Neither team scored again until the seventh with an RBI triple by St. Francis’ David Yoder that made it 4-2. Yoder led all players with three hits on the night.

The Grizzlies answered with a score of their own in the seventh as Antonio Allen reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to make it a 4-3 game.

In the eighth, the Grizzlies put runners on the corners with nobody out and Ty Abbott drove in pinch runner Garitt Church to tie the game on a fielder’s choice.

Reliever Andy Threatt tossed two scoreless innings and Smith recorded the final out in St. Francis’ half of the ninth to set up the victory.

In the bottom of the ninth, Phillip Bates drew a two-out walk and stole second base, then came home to win the game on Alvord’s double down the left field line.

The teams continue the series Saturday night with a 7 p.m. start in Lawrenceville.