The Chargers welcomed a highly regarded Walters State team (ranked #3 by Perfectgame, #5 by Baseball America) to LakePoint for a day-night doubleheader on Friday. After falling 7-1 in the first game following a trio of defensive miscues and a three run Senator homer, the Chargers answered back in game two with a 4-3 victory.
Tyler Sellers earned his first win of the season, allowing 1 unearned run on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. Kevin Barham threw 2 perfect innings in relief protecting a 4-1 lead heading into the final frame. Barham walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh to give the Senators some life, and then a passed ball allowed the runner to move into scoring position. The Senators followed with a run scoring single and Barham lost control of a pickoff attempt, allowing the runner to advance to second base. Skylar McPhee came in to relieve Barham and retired the first batter he faced on a come back ground ball, but he struggled with command from there walking 2 batters and hitting a third to force in a run and bring the score to 4-3. The Chargers then brought in sophomore Matthew Norton in a tough situation to try and stop the bleeding. Norton was equal to the task, striking out both of the batters he faced to claim the save and seal the win for GHC.
Skylar McpHee paced the offense for GHC, pounding out 3 hits and an RBI. Blake Brady and Parker Orr each drove in a run in the game, and freshman Austin Foster picked up an RBI single on a beautifully placed bunt in the sixth inning. Dash O'Neill pointed to a pair of big moments that were key in the win.
"Foster's RBI ended up being a crucial play for us when things started to go sideways in the seventh. Can't really say enough about the job the Matty [Norton] did in just about the toughest situation possible. Those guys [Walters State] are one of the best clubs in the country year in and year out, so for him to come in and just take control right there was huge."
Saturday's game has been canceled due to the impending rain, so the Chargers will be back in action at home next Tuesday when hey host Cleveland State in a single 9 inning game at 3PM.