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Day 3 Recap: Grizzlies Advance, Play Suspended
May 14, 2014
The Georgia Gwinnett baseball team is still alive in its quest to reach the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, winning an elimination game over St. Francis (Ill.) Wednesday before rain suspended the championship round of the Lawrenceville Bracket against Southeastern (Fla.) at the Grizzly Baseball Complex.
Play was halted in the bottom of the fourth inning of Game 8 with GGC trailing SEU, 5-3, and batting with two runners on base and one out.
The game will resume Thursday at 3 p.m. ET in Lawrenceville, weather permitting. The Grizzlies must win to force a Game 9 later Thursday to decide the Lawrenceville Bracket.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, the Grizzlies advanced by eliminating St. Francis (Ill.) in Game 7 by an 11-8 score.
Game 7- Georgia Gwinnett 11, St. Francis 8
The Grizzlies notched their 50th win of the year in the opener Wednesday, improving to 50-11 on the year with their second-straight elimination game win.
Jake Fields led the GGC attack with three doubles, scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs as the two teams combined for 29 hits.
The Grizzlies connected early against St. Francis starter Charlie Ludolph (3-3). Sloan Strickland delivered a two-out, two-run single through the left side in the first inning to score Fields and Ty Abbott as GGC- the designated visiting team- went up 2-0.
The Grizzlies put two runners on board in the second inning with a pair of walks, chasing Ludolph from the contest. Phillip Bates then blasted a home run to left field off reliever Kyle Cunningham, a three-run shot to give GGC a 5-0 lead. Abbott added an RBI single in the inning to score Fields to make it 6-0.
An RBI single in the third inning put the Fighting Saints (38-22) on the board and in the fourth inning, six straight one-out singles brought USF within two runs at 6-4.
In the top of the fifth with two outs, a successful double steal brought home Van Camp as GGC went up, 7-4. With runners on first and second, Fields drilled his third double of the day to left-center field to drive in two more runs for a 9-4 Grizzlies lead.
Van Camp added an RBI single through the right side to score Abbott in the sixth to extend the lead once again to six runs at 10-4.
The Fighting Saints refused to go quietly. USF scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning, but reliever Austin Smith induced a groundout with the bases loaded to keep GGC in front, 10-7.
St. Francis picked the run back up with an RBI single in the ninth to draw within three at 11-8. With the go-ahead run at the plate later in the inning with the bases loaded and one out, a chopper to third base was snatched by William Paschal, who stepped on third and fired to first for the game-ending double play.
Reliever Jonathan Spitler earned the save for GGC while Turner picked up the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
It was the Grizzlies’ second-straight win in an elimination game.
Game 8- Southeastern 5, GGC 3 – 4th Inning (Postponed until Thursday; Inclement Weather)
Inclement weather interrupted Game 8 in the fourth inning, forcing play to be suspended until Thursday.
Before the weather arrived, the Fire jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of home runs. Bryan Muniz launched a two-run shot to left field and Aldo Ferrante followed with a solo homer, also to left, as SEU went ahead, 3-0.
The Grizzlies scored once in the bottom of the inning when Phillip Bates singled and later came home on a wild pitch and a throwing error.
The Fire added one run in the top of the third with a string of four straight two-out singles, but a defensive play at the plate limited the damage and ended the inning.
Southeastern scored once in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk.
Three straight singles to begin the bottom of the fourth got the Grizzlies’ bats going. Strickland scored on an RBI single by Van Camp and Jereid Woods followed with a sac fly to left to make it 5-3 before play was suspended. The Grizzlies have runners on first and third with one out and Bates due up.
The teams will resume action on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.