West Chester Holds Off Nighthawks, 9-4, On Opening Day Of NCAA Championship
May 31, 2017
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The No. 3 University of North Georgia baseball team came up on the short end of a 9-4 decision with No. 21 on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the 2017 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship at The Ball Park at Grand Prairie.
WCU (41-11) used four runs in the third and five in the seventh to snap the Nighthawks’ four-game NCAA tournament winning streak.
UNG (46-11) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the second inning courtesy of a RBI triple by Steven Tomlinson that plated Conner Corbitt who led off the inning with a single. A ground out by Andres Perez two batters later plated Tomlinson to push before Connor Hoover capped the inning with a RBI single of his own.
West Chester’s Jared Melone belted a grand slam in the next at-bat for WCU to give Golden Rams the lead for good. The two-out rally was aided by a UNG throwing error and a hit batter.
The Golden Rams later plated five runs in the seventh to break open the one-run game. West Chester sent all nine batters to the plate in the frame and had a string of four consecutive hits, including three RBI-singles while five straight reached safely.
North Georgia’s final at-bat made things interesting as the Nighthawks loaded the bases with one out after a free pass to Hoover scored Tomlinson to cut the WCU lead to 9-4, but the Golden Rams shut the door with an inning-ending double play.
Daniel McCrary (10-2) was tagged with just his second loss of the season after allowing four runs, all unearned, on five hits while walking two and striking out three.
Offensively, Hoover and Tomlinson combined for five of UNG’s seven hits on the day. Hoover was 3-of-4 with a pair of RBI, while Tomlinson was 2-of-4 with two runs scored.
The Nighthawks will now face the loser of Lindenwood and No. 2 Delta State on Monday, May 29 at 4:00 EST in an elimination game.
– UNG Athletic Communications –
CHAD HAYNIE // Director of Athletic Communications
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA ATHLETICS
Website: UNGAthletics.com | Twitter: @UNG_Nighthawks | #HawkEm