Georgia Highlands improved to 9-1 on the season after sweeping Calhoun Community College in two close ball games on Wednesday night. Game one was a classic pitching duel as Chase Townsend, Chandler Wood, and Garrett Sagro held the Warhawks to 1 run on 2 hits while the Charger offense was only able to scratch 2 runs of their own across. Townsend picked up the win to improve to 3-0, Wood collects a hold, and Sagro converted his second save of the season. On the other side of the ball, GHC only managed 3 hits in the game. The Chargers got their first run across in the second inning when Trace Twardoski led off with a walk, stole third base, and scored on Brandon Prince single. Prince would score the game winning run in the fifth inning when he beat out a bunt for a single, stole second, stole third, and scored on an RBI ground out from Ben Olson.
The Chargers started strong in the nightcap as Trace Twardoski drove in a run in the bottom of the first inning to give GHC an early lead. The Warhawks tied the score with an RBI single of their own in the top of the fourth inning, but after two quiet innings at the plate, the Chargers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. Max Kops executed a text book suicide squeeze bunt to score a run while also legging out a base hit. Brandon Prince came through with another big hit, driving a two run single into left field, but Kops was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play to end the Charger rally. When the Warhawks tied the game in the top of the sixth it looked as if the momentum had swung toward the visiting team, but a gutsy performance by freshman Zack Valentine pushed the game into several drama filled extra innings.
With Valentine holding the fort, the Chargers loaded the bases in the eighth inning with one out. Trenton Parker hit a potential sacrifice fly to right field, but a perfect throw cut down Gavin Harmon at the plate. Neither team was able to get anything going in the ninth, but a Trace Twardoski single and a hit by pitch once again put GHC in position to win the game. Unfortunately, the Calhoun pitcher had another idea and a strikeout ended the Charger push and forced the game into the eleventh inning. Valentine gave up a leadoff single in the top half of the inning, but he pitched his way out of trouble to give his offense another chance to make something happen. This time, they did not fall short. Trenton Parker was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Brandon Prince worked his way on with a walk before Ben Olson sacrificed Parker and Prince into scoring position. Joe Sutton was intentionally walked to create a force at all bases, and after a lengthy conference on the mound, the Warhawk pitcher uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Parker to score the game winning run.
Ryan Suppa was strong in the start, fanning 7 and allowing a single run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings of work. Caleb Garner allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in relief, and Zack Valentine earned the first win of his career going 5.1 innings of shutout work in relief. The right hander allowed 3 hits, struck out 5, and did not allow a free pass.
The Chargers are now 9-1 on the season. Weather has forced several schedule changes, so stay tuned for schedule updates this weekend.