Grizzlies Set Single-Season Wins Record, Advance to A.I.I. Championship Game
Baseball - Mon, May 9, 2016
Photo courtesy of Tom Grason.
Photo courtesy of Tom Grason.
Clarke (Iowa)
(1)Georgia Gwinnett
Clarke (Iowa) (36-14)110001000391
Georgia Gwinnett (54-4)300010020692
Lawrenceville, GA Grizzly Baseball Complex
Clarke (Iowa)PitchingGeorgia Gwinnett
-Winner Uherek, Nikolay
Stevens, DaltonLoser-
-Save Solomon, Will
Clarke (Iowa)Indv. StatsGeorgia Gwinnett
2 Players (#11,#22)Doubles #23 Woods, Jereid
NoneTriples None
NoneHome Runs None

The No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett baseball team set a new single-season wins record on Monday night as the Grizzlies picked up their 54th win of the year with a 6-3 victory over Clarke (Iowa) in the winner's bracket final.

"We battled today and fought hard when things weren't going our way," stated GGC head coach Brad Stromdahl. "[Nikolay] Uherek had a great outing, and we got a few big hits when we needed them.  Solomon stepped up in his new role and did a great job to close out the game."

GGC starter Nikolay Uherek (9-2) received the win for the Grizzlies, surrendering three runs, one unearned, on nine hits while striking out six batters.  Uherek faced three jams in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings and worked through the adversity to leave the game at the end of the seventh with a 4-3 lead.

The Crusaders (36-14) struck first in the opening inning of play with an RBI-double by third baseman Stephan Zanoni to take the 1-0 lead.

Georgia Gwinnett (54-4) quickly responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to gain the 3-1 advantage over the Crusaders.  An RBI-double to the left field wall by first baseman Zac Rinehart tied the game at 1-1 while a two-run single to shallow left by third baseman William Paschal pushed the Grizzlies ahead 3-1.

Clarke once again cut the Grizzlies' advantage to one, 3-2, with an RBI-single by center fielder Eric Bueno in the top of the second, but GGC regained a two-run, 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI-single by center fielder Josh Merrigan.

Clarke, once again, narrowed the gap back to one, 4-3, in the top of the sixth on a GGC fielding error.

Georgia Gwinnett collected two insurance runs two innings later on a sacrifice fly by Brady Hamilton and a wild pitch by Clarke's reliever Tanner Lupton.

Senior closer Will Solomon (8-0) came on in the top of the eighth to shut down the Crusaders, pitching two scoreless innings of relief.  The left-handed Columbus, Ga., native struck out four and picked up his third save of the season in GGC's 6-3 win.

Stromdahl continued, "It's great to break the wins record today and now we are looking forward to having the opportunity to play for a chance to go to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series next week."

With the victory, the Grizzlies move on to the A.I.I. championship game on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. where they will face off with the winner of the loser's bracket.

The Grizzly Digital Network will provide live video coverage of Tuesday's championship game beginning approximately at 1:45 p.m.  Access to the complete tournament can be purchased for $29.95 and viewed daily at  Individual game viewings are also available at $7.95 per game.

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