After enjoying two days away from the diamond, the Georgia Gwinnett College baseball team returns to action at the NAIA World Series on Monday against top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan University in a winner’s bracket contest at Lewiston, Idaho.
The No. 5-seeded Grizzlies (47-11) earned a 6-3 victory against No. 4-seeded Faulkner University (Ala.) on Friday. Tennessee Wesleyan defeated No. 8 Indiana Tech 11-3 on Saturday to advance through the winner’s bracket.
Monday’s meeting will be the third game this season between the two teams, with the Bulldogs winning both previous encounters.
In Friday’s first-round victory, senior Brody Wofford connected on a grand slam in the fifth inning to give GGC a 4-1 lead over Faulkner. Senior Onassis Matos added a two-run single in the important frame. Senior Alex Garland collected four hits in the game.
That offense supported junior starting pitcher Pedro Garcia, who registered 11 strikeouts over the first 6 2/3 innings to pick up the victory. Senior reliever Matthew Swain recorded the final four outs to pick up the save.
For the season, sophomore Cam Coursey has anchored the team’s offensive attack with a .462 batting average, 98 hits, nine triples and 61 RBIs. The preseason All-American and Golden Spikes Preseason List nominee also has scored 63 runs and been successful on 19 stolen base attempts.
Senior C.J. Ballard is batting .365, and leads the team with 67 runs and 33 stolen bases. Junior Gabe Austin (.364), Matos (.362) and sophomore Cord Johnson (.351) round out leaders of the team’s balanced offensive attack.
Joining Garcia and Swain on the pitching staff are senior Gregory Loukinen, who has won a team-high nine games. Then, senior Jonathan McKinney stands 8-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 12 starts, and junior Hunter Caudelle has won all six of his decisions on the mound and has a staff best 2.15 ERA.