EMERSON, Ga. — Bryce Hodge clubbed four hits, Jerry Hammons added three base knocks and Austin Bibb homered as second-ranked Walters State claimed a 10-3 victory Sunday afternoon over Georgia Highlands at the LakePoint Sports Complex to win the series two games to one.
After splitting a pair of shutout games on Saturday, both teams scored by the end of the first two innings of the series finale, but it was three multi-run innings by the Senators that pushed them to the victory.
With the win, Walters State is now 5-3 on the season. The loss dropped the homestanding Chargers to 8-3 on the year.
The Senators got another solid day of pitching in the win, as Corey Stone (2-0) went six innings and allowed just three runs (one earned) on four hits while fanning three batters and not allowing a free base runner in the win. Gage Gillian toed the slab in the final three frames, scattering five hits in recording his first save of 2019. For the weekend, WSCC's pitchers allowed just four runs and only one earned run in 23 innings pitched.
Hodge drove in a pair of runs in the win, as did Bibb, while Hammons hammered a double among his three hits. Xavier Arnette, Mason Streater and Michael Robinson each added two hits, including two-baggers from Arnette and Streater, with Arnette, Hammons, Braydon Runion, Jake Jennings and Brayden Combs each driving in a run in the win.
Brant Brown started the game on the hill for the Chargers and took the loss after allowing two unearned runs on four hits before exiting the contest with one out in the third inning. Six GHC relievers combined to allow eight earned runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Austin Foster had two hits for the Chargers, while Skylar McPhee and Travis Sands both smacked a double for the home team, as they recorded nine hits in the loss.
Hammons and Hodge singled with one out in the first inning before Hodge stole second base to put both in scoring position. Hammons raced home to score on an error for the game's first tally.
GHC tied it in the bottom of the second as Malik Spratling singled and scored on a double by Sands, but the game didn't remain tied long. Hammons reached on an error in the third, Hodge singled, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Bibb was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Runion wore a pitch as well to plate Hammons, putting WSCC on top, 2-1.
JL Bland walked to lead off the fourth before Robinson reached on a bunt single and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Arnette plated Bland with a sacrifice fly to left before Hammons singled to put runners on the corners. Hodge delivered an RBI single, and Hammons later scored on a wild pitch to make it a 5-1 lead.
The home team got a run back in the bottom of the fourth by scoring on an error, but the Senators put the game away in the sixth frame with another three-spot. Arnette and Hammons roped back-to-back doubles to put a run on the board, and Bibb smashed a two-run homer over the left field wall to make it an 8-2 lead.
The Chargers scored another unearned run in the sixth, but WSCC responded with two runs in the seventh for the final runs of the game. Robinson reached on an error, Arnette singled and Hodge roped a single to score Robinson from second base. Jennings then lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Arnette to make it 10-3.
After Gillian entered the game on the mound in place of Stone in the seventh, he allowed a hit in each of his first two innings of work with not damage done before the home team made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Hunter Moody, Austin Foster and Lavoisier Fisher all singled to load the bases, but Gillian got a ground to second for a fielder's choice to end the threat and the game.
The Senators will open the home schedule on Wednesday when they host King University's junior varsity team. First pitch against the Tornado is set for 1 p.m.