After taking a pounding in each of their previous five games, the Diamond Dogs snapped their losing streak with a win over Siena on Friday. The Red and Black followed that up with another victory over the Saints in Saturday afternoon’s meeting at Foley Field.
Justin Grimm retired the first batter he faced in the top of the initial inning, but he plunked the second, allowed the baserunner to advance on a wild pitch, and walked the next two visitors to load the bases. The next Saint to step into the batter’s box hit into a fielder’s choice and a Levi Hyams error allowed two runs to score. The Classic City Canines halved the deficit in the bottom of the frame on a solo home run by Robert Shipman for the freshman infielder’s first career dinger.
Georgia knotted the score in the home half of the second stanza. Christian Glisson drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second when Colby May reached on a Siena error. Zach Taylor reached on the fielder’s choice that put runners at the corners, allowing Todd Hankins to plate a run on a base hit.
Ben Cornwell took over for the ill Grimm in the top of the third canto and conceded a two-out single and a two-run blast to center field. The Saints retained their 4-2 advantage until the bottom of the fourth frame, when the Athenians had their breakout inning just as they had the day before. A hit batsman, a base on balls, and a single loaded the bases and each of the next five Diamond Dogs to step up to the plate was credited with an RBI on a single, a walk, a plunking, and a pair of sacrifice flies.
After Glisson drew a walk, a May single plated another run to make it a three-hit, six-run stanza. The Red and Black added to their lead in the home half of the fifth canto when Zach Cone walked with two outs and the bases loaded. Siena made up some lost ground in the top of the sixth inning when five singles translated into three runs.
The last of the scoring occurred in the lower half of the seventh frame. Johnathan Taylor registered a one-out single and Peter Verdin brought the baserunner home on a double. Shipman’s ensuing home run made the score 12-7 and the Georgia hurlers held the Saints hitless in the final two innings to notch a Red and Black victory.
Visiting catcher Gary DerHagopian’s one home run and three RBI were countered by the two home runs and four RBI of Robert Shipman, who started at first base due to Chase Davidson’s sprained ankle. Although Georgia was out-hit by Siena, the Bulldogs drew ten walks to lay alongside their ten hits. Seven Athenians batted in at least one run and six Classic City Canines collected at least one base on balls.
Five Red and Black pitchers combined to card twice as many strikeouts (8) as walks (4), while the win went to Justin Earls despite the fact that the Georgia middle reliever gave up six of the Saints’ eleven hits and three of the visitors’ six earned runs. Once again, it was only Siena, but the Diamond Dogs are back above .500 with an 8-7 record and looking to go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon.