LAWRENCEVILLE — A six-run seventh inning propelled the top-seeded Georgia Gwinnett College baseball team to a 12-2 victory against No. 2-seeded Georgetown College (Ky.) on Tuesday in the Lawrenceville Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round at the Grizzly Baseball Complex.
The Grizzlies (45-11) advance to the championship round of the tournament, awaiting an opponent for a game on Wednesday, May 15, at 3 p.m. The team is striving to make its second straight trip to the Avista-NAIA World Series and third appearance in program history.
GGC hitters and pitchers flexed their muscles against the Tigers. The Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in the second inning behind run-scoring singles from sophomore Cord Johnson, sophomore Cam Coursey and senior C.J. Ballard. The lead grew to 5-0 by the third inning following RBI singles by seniors Alex Garland and Brenton Burgess.
Then, Garland capped off his big offensive day with a solo home run in the fifth inning. He went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI for the day.
After leading 6-2, Georgia Gwinnett College pulled away even farther by connecting on three extra-base hits in the seventh inning. Coursey, a Lanier product, legged out a two-run triple before sophomore Nick Barnes hit a two-run home run. Junior Gabe Austin also had a double earlier in the frame.
Coursey collected four hits and drove in three runs, while Ballard had three hits in the team's 18-hit offensive attack.
Meanwhile, senior pitcher Jonathan McKinney struck out six batters across the first five innings before junior Hunter Caudelle tossed four scoreless innings in relief to pick up the save. Caudelle had seven strikeouts in the relief appearance.