MOUNT OLIVE, NC – The University of North Georgia remained unbeaten in the NCAA Southeast Regional with a 6-2 win in the early hours of Saturday morning. With the win, the Nighthawks remain unbeaten in two games at the regional and advance in the winners bracket to face top-seeded host Mount Olive on Saturday at 5:00 pm.
USC Aiken takes their first loss of the regional and will play an elimination game against Catawba on Saturday at 1:30 pm.
North Georgia (44-10) scored their six runs on only seven hits, taking advantage of two Pacer errors and seven walks issued by Pacer pitchers. Steven Tomlinson scored the first run of the game in the top of the third after leading off with a single and eventually coming around from second to score on a pair of wild pitches.
USC Aiken (40-14) took the lead with runs in the third and the fifth. Nile Goings stroked an RBI single in the third to score Luke Westerberg in the third. Westerberg then had a ground-rule double in the fifth that brought home Jose Bonilla.
The score remained 2-1 USCA until the top of the seventh when the Nighthawks plated three. Three straight walks loaded the bases with no outs, but the Pacers collected two outs and were on the verge of escaping the inning when a fielding error brought home Kal Dempsey from third. Bill Leroy then singled up the middle, scoring two more.
UNG added two more runs in the eighth as Andres Perez had an RBI single followed by a bases-loaded walk to Michael Gouge that scored Tomlinson. All seven of UNG's hits were singles.
Daniel McCrary got the start for the Nighthawks and went 5.2 innings with two earned runs and three walks allowed. Gabe Moore (W, 3-0) entered and was nearly flawless in 3.1 innings of work, allowing only one hit and no walks while striking out five.
USC Aiken used four arms in the game with James Lynch (L, 2-3) taking the loss after not recording an out in the seventh. Connor Riley got the start for the Pacers, going six innings with one earned run and three walk allowed while striking out six. Only three of the six UNG runs were earned.
Tomlinson was the only Nighthawk to collect two hits as he went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Leroy was 1-for-5 with the two RBIs and Perez 1-for-2 with an RBI, two walks and two runs scored.
Westerberg finished 2-for-4 for the Pacers with an RBI. Bonilla was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs plated.