Nighthawks > Thomas U Split in Sunday Double Header

| February 2, 2015

TU baseball 020215

THOMASVILLE – Thomas University opened the 2015 season with a thrilling come from behind, walk off win over Middle Georgia State College in extra innings on Saturday night for the first win of their 2015 season.  While the second game was suspended at the end of the third inning due to light failure, the Night Hawks picked up with their momentum from an 8-4 lead Saturday evening and once again won in walk off fashion in game two of the series.

The Night Hawks (2-1) defeated Middle Georgia (1-2) 13-12 in the second game, but then were overpowered in the series finale on Sunday evening by the Knights 21-10 in an offensive slugfest.

When game two continued on Sunday afternoon, the Night Hawks began the top frame of the fourth with the 8-4 lead.  The Knights started the opening inning of the previously suspended game by plating two runs.  Jordan Sopotnick, who came in for relief of starter Ben Overman, bobbled a comebacker to the mound that scored Middle Georgia’s Tay Jerger.  Jerger previously reached on a five pitch walk.  Knights’ third baseman Sam Ayers would later score on a fielder’s choice to bring the Knights within two.  After a scoreless bottom frame of the fourth for the Night Hawks, the Knights once again scored their seventh run of the game when Sopotnick walked Ayers with the bases loaded. TU’s Codey Conway came on in relief for Night Hawks and worked out of the bases load jam without any further damage.

TU was once again held to two scoreless innings before Middle Georgia’s bats came alive in top of the seventh.  Thomas’ Tyler Leach came in to close out the game for the Night Hawks; however, Middle Georgia had different plans. The Knights, who plated five runs to take the 12-8 lead, now looked for the victory heading into what was potentially the final three outs of the game in the bottom portion of the seventh.

The Hunter Green and White once again put on their rally caps on and confidentially stood their ground at Varendoe Stadium. Right fielder Jeremy Crosby led off the inning with a seeing-eye single to left. Then, left fielder Corey Conway reached after being hit by a pitch before shortstop Jake Desuyo loaded the bases with a six pitch walk.  The Knights removed their relief pitcher Jacob Wedincamp for Tay Jerger.  Second baseman Jalbert Melo gave the Night Hawks their first run of the inning reaching base on four straight balls. On a 2-2 pitch, catcher Kaleb Holbrook tied the game at 12 with a bases clearing triple over the head of Middle Georgia’s center fielder that rolled all the way to the 410’ mark against the fence.  This hit sent the game into extra innings for the second contest in a row for the Night Hawks.

After a dominant inning of scoreless pitching by reliever Chad Jones, the Night Hawks’ pulled out the 13-12 victory in the bottom of the eighth.  Once again, Holbrook delivered.  The catcher slapped a two-out single up the middle to score Melo from second for the walk victory.

Later in the afternoon, the Night Hawks would drop the series finale to Middle Georgia 21-10.

Holbrook led the way for the Night Hawks this weekend going 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, triple, and three singles.  The Dawsonville, Ga., native collected eight RBIs and hit an astonishing .727 in slugging percentage.  First baseman Josh Bruijn also had a monstrous weekend going 6-for-14 (.429) while hitting two homeruns and collecting seven RBIs. The red-shirt senior and Tallahassee, Fla., native scored five times and recorded a .857 slugging percentage in his three games of work.

“While I’m happy with the fight our guys showed in the first two games of the series, I wasn’t pleased with our loss of focus in the rubber game,” stated head coach Mike Lee. “We’ve got a long way to go and this is just the beginning. We will fine tune our mistakes and better prepare for Reinhardt later this week.”

The Night Hawks return to action on Thursday, Feb. 5 when they host Reinhardt University.  First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.

Jason Hendrix, Thomas University

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