FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 9, 2009
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
Tigers pick up first wins of season
The South Georgia State College Tigers picked up their first wins
of the season over the weekend, taking two from the Truett McConnell Bears
on Saturday. The wins were sandwiched between losses to the St. Johns River
Community College Vikings on Friday and the ABAC Stallions on Sunday.
Two former Coffee High Trojans figured prominently in the pair of SGC wins.
Stuart Drew started the season red hot and hasn’t cooled off. He’s hit
safely in every game the Tigers have played, and leads the team in hitting
(.444) among those who have played in all seven games. Jamaal Smith threw
six innings in game two against the Bears and picked up the win in his first
start of the season.
On Friday, the Tigers gave themselves an opportunity to win. They built a
4-1 lead through five innings. Then the Vikings scored two in the sixth to
get within one. In the top of the seventh, Viking pinch hitter Jesse Piccolo
homered off reliever James Hickey to tie the game at four each.
The Vikings took the lead in the top of the eighth when Monte Ketchum hit
another solo home run, this one off Justin Fordham, who had entered the game
in relief of Hickey. However, the Tigers had some fight left and battled
back to pull ahead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, shortstop
Keenan Ivey singled to score Jamaal Smith and Justin Roberts, giving SGC a
St. Johns mounted a comeback of their own in the top of the ninth and plated
one run on a two-out triple by Derek Bradley. That knotted the score at six
apiece. The Tigers failed to score in the bottom of the ninth and the game
went into extra innings.
The Vikings took advantage of a lead-off double by Nick De La Osa in the top
of the tenth. De La Osa moved to third on a bunt and scored on a single by
Austin Mwanundu to give St. Johns a 7-6 advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, Justin Roberts singled with one out but was
caught stealing. Then pinch hitter Blake Jenkins and Ivey both walked to put
runners at first and second with two outs. However, centerfielder Zach
Kilday ended the game with a pop-out in foul territory.
Starter Ryan Whiddon, who left the game after 5 1/3 innings with a lead
intact, did not factor in the decision. The loss went to Fordham, while Ryan
Crawford took the win for the Vikings. Roberts led SGC offensively with a 3
for 5 day at the plate. He scored a run and drove in two. Ivey also drove in
two runs, while Stuart Drew and Andrew Anderson had a pair of hits. Jamaal
Smith scored twice.
Saturday, the Tigers faced the Bears of Truett McConnell in a double-header.
Game one went easily; SGC won 8-3 behind a solid six-inning pitching
performance from starter Greg Fietsam. Drew (2 for 3, one RBI), Smith (2 for
2, one RBI, one run scored), Roberts (3 for 4, two runs scored) and Ivey (1
for 3, two runs scored, two RBI) provided most of the offense. Ivey’s lone
hit was a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Fietsam surrendered
three runs (all earned) on four hits for his first win of the year.
Game two of the double-header was more of the same. Jamaal Smith, making his
first start of the year, held the Bears to just one run in six innings to
lead the Tigers to a 7-1 victory. Smith threw a three-hitter, allowing just
one run in the process. Austin Palmer had a good day at the plate, going 2
for 3 (including an RBI triple in the second) with two runs scored and two
RBI. Kilday and Brandon Collins also had two hits for SGC.
Sunday afternoon, SGC and ABAC squared off for what turned into a slugfest.
The two teams combined for 19 runs on 30 hits (with six total errors thrown
in for good measure), which ABAC won 11-8.
The Tigers had but one lead in the contest, a 2-1 advantage after the first
inning that lasted until the third. SGC scored in the fourth, sixth, seventh
and eighth innings but could not catch up to a hard-hitting Stallions squad.
Starter Tony Albritton made it just 3 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (four
earned) on eight hits. Coach Sims used five more pitchers in an attempt to
stop ABAC, only one of which escaped without surrendering a run (Scott
Groover, who threw the final frame).
Once again, Drew had a solid game offensively. He was 3 for 5 and scored
twice. Ivey was 1 for 3 with three RBI. Collins and Smith had two hits each,
while Justin Roberts scored two runs.
SGC stands at 2-5 on the season (2-3 at home, 0-2 on the road). Tuesday,
Feb. 10, the Tigers travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to face Tallahassee
Community College at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, SGC plays the Brewton-Parker JV
squad in Douglas at 4 p.m. They return to action at home on Saturday at 3
p.m. with a double-header against USC-Salkehatchie. Sunday, the two teams
play a third game, beginning at 1 p.m.
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About South Georgia State College
South Georgia State College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is a two-year institution in the University System
of Georgia. Located in Douglas, Ga., the college's environment gives
students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close
collaboration with faculty.