The sixth-ranked Georgia Gwinnett baseball team swept Saturday’s doubleheader action against Shawnee State (Ohio) after dropping Friday’s series opener to the Bears. The Grizzlies won both games in 7-6 results over SSU, including a 10th inning, walk-off walk in game two to seal the series victory.
In game one, Georgia Gwinnett trailed Shawnee State 3-0 after three innings of play, but fought back to cut the gap to within one, 3-2, with back-to-back RBI-singles by shortstop Trevor Bradley and right fielder Jean Figueroa.
Three innings later, the Grizzlies tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI-single to center by Marcus McCorkle. Two batters later, GGC took its first lead, 5-3, of the day when first baseman Alex Garland launched a two-run home run over the left field fence.
Georgia Gwinnett added two insurance runs in the eighth, increasing its lead to 7-3, when Figueroa tapped a two-run, seeing-eye single to left.
Facing its final three outs of the opening contest of Saturday’s doubleheader, Shawnee State (8-25) rallied to score three runs in the top of the ninth, but closer Tanner Shelton shut down the Bears to hand the Grizzlies their first win of the day.
Michael Royal picked up his first win of 2017, tossing three innings of relief for the Grizzlies. Brady Knittel (22-2) received the loss, surrendering three earned runs on four hits in 0.2 innings of work.
In the nightcap, Shawnee State plated all six of its runs in the first inning against GGC starter Chase Boone.
Georgia Gwinnett responded with three runs in the bottom of the third as designated hitter Austin Alexander provided an RBI-single while Garland drove in two runs with a bloop hit to center.
Down to its last three outs, the Grizzlies rallied in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 6-6, forcing extra innings. Kyler Timmerman powered a two-run triple to the left-center gap, making it 6-5 while an RBI-single by catcher Jean Paul Rodriguez tied the game at 6-6.
In the bottom of the 10th, Georgia Gwinnett loaded the bases, bringing Chris Jones to the plate. With a 3-1 count, Shawnee State’s reliever Kyle Agius threw an outside fastball to walk Jones, plating Figueroa from third for the walk-off victory.
Shelton, who provided the Grizzlies with 1.2 innings of shutout relief in game two, picked up the victory while Shawnee State’s Aguis suffered the loss.
The Grizzlies are now 27-12 in 2017 and are 16-0 when they score 10 or more runs.
Of note, Figueroa went 6-for-9 on the day, picking up three RBIs while scoring on three occasions.
Georgia Gwinnett now hits the road for its next four games where it will face No. 19 Bryan (Tenn.) on Tuesday, April 4 while traveling to Lebanon, Tenn., to face Cumberland in a three-game set April 7-9. GGC return to the Grizzly Baseball Complex on Monday, April 10 where it will host Truett McConnell (Ga.) at 3:00 p.m.
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