GREENWOOD - In a 4 hour, 7 minute game that featured 28 runs and 19 walks by 12 different pitchers, the No. 22-ranked North Georgia baseball team defeated Lander, 16-12, Friday night in the first game of their Peach Belt Conference series at Dolny Stadium. The two teams will conclude the series Saturday with a 1 o'clock doubleheader.
North Georgia, which took advantage of 13 walks by seven Lander pitchers, improves to 21-9 overall and 15-4 in the PBC, while the Bearcats fall to 17-20, 7-15.
The Nighthawks' Chip Fleming (1-0) earned the win after striking out four, walking one and allowing one earned run on three hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Taylor Keinat was awarded his second save of the season with one strikeout and two walks in 2.1 innings.
Lander's Joe Mackey (2-4) took the loss with three strikeouts, three walks and five earned runs on four hits in four innings of work.
Thomas Berry put Lander up 2-0 in the first inning with a two-run homer over the right field wall, his seventh roundtripper of the season.
The Nighthawks responded with three runs in the second to take the lead when Andrew Gordon's RBI double plated Tremayne Toorie, Devin Gearhart drove in Trevor Sams, and Gordon went home on Joey Cecere's groundout.
But Gordon knotted it a 4-all in the fourth with a solo shot over the right center wall.
The Nighthawks erupted for six runs in the fifth to overtake the Bearcats at 10-6 after Connor Hoover went home on a throwing error, Travis Naraine's sacrifice fly sent Steven Tomlinson across the plate, Sams belted a two-run homer to left field, Cecere drove in Gordon, and Gearhart advanced on a bases-loaded walk.
North Georgia added two more runs in the sixth after Toorie and Sams went home on bases-loaded walks.
Jones got the Bearcats on the scoreboard in the sixth with a solo shot to left field to cut the margin to 12-7, but the Nighthawks gained that run back in the seventh when Sam Tidaback scored on Toorie's sacrifice fly.
Lander cut it to 13-12 when the Bearcats erupted for five runs in the seventh with bases loaded and two outs. Berry scored on a Nighthawk fielding error, pinch runner Will Porter scored on a bases-loaded walk, Conaway drove in Matt White, and Taylor Kellner and Jones advanced on another error.
The Nighthawks countered with three runs in the eighth when Tidaback sent a two-run single to right field and Tomlinson crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
For Lander, Berry batted 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Hyatt and Conaway added two hits apiece.
For North Georgia, Sams batted 3-for-6 with two RBI, while Tidabck and Gordon had two hits each.