DAHLONEGA, GA – Lander senior Andrew Reardon allowed just one run in 4.2 innings of relief to help the nationally ranked Bearcats hold off North Georgia, 6-5, and take a road series win on Sunday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.
The Bearcats improved to 29-9 overall and 17-7 in the Peach Belt. North Georgia fell to 18-15 overall and 9-12 in the PBC. Lander is ranked No. 9 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association; No. 20 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper; and No. 21 by D2 Baseball News.
Reardon (2-0) earned the win by striking out five and walking one, while surrendering just four hits.
Lander took the lead in the top of the third inning on a solo home run from Matt White, but North Georgia answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer from Connor Hoover and increased its lead to 3-1 on a throwing error that scored Steven Tomlinson from second.
The Bearcats put five runs on the board in the top of the fourth. Taylor Kellner led off the inning with a bunt single and Alex Conaway followed with a walk. Mason Dodd trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with a single up the middle that plated Kellner. After a strikeout, White walked to load the bases and Zach Daly stroked a single into left field to drive in Dodd and Conaway and give the Bearcats the lead. Colby Lusignan followed with an RBI double to score White, pushing the lead to 5-3. After Thomas Berry was intentionally walked to load the bases, John Mangum capped the inning by getting hit by a pitch to give Lander a 6-3 lead.
North Georgia answered with an RBI single from Devin Gearhart in the bottom of the fourth to trim the deficit to 6-4 and a solo home run from Joshua Peterson to lead off the bottom of the sixth cut Lander's lead to 6-5.
However, Reardon would retire the final six batters he faced, giving way to closer Brandon White in the ninth, who worked around two walks to earn his eighth save of the season.
Nighthawk starter Daniel McCrary (2-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five in 3.0 innings.
For the Bearcats, White was 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and two walks, while Mason Dodd batted 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Peterson led North Georgia, going 2-for-4 at the plate.