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Georgia College takes Peach Belt game from Lander, 9-5

Lander honored its 2016 Southeast Regional championship team prior to first pitch on Saturday as the players received their rings (Photo by Megan Varner)
Lander honored its 2016 Southeast Regional championship team prior to first pitch on Saturday as the players received their rings (Photo by Megan Varner)

GREENWOOD – Cal Gentry had three hits while Nate Schmal drove in three runs, leading Georgia College to a 9-5 victory over the Lander Bearcats in a Peach Belt Conference game Saturday afternoon at Dolny Staium. 

Lander fell to 17-20 overall, 10-10 in the PBC.

The Bobcats improved to 24-9, 11-6.

Georgia College, which also won Friday, clinched the series with the victory. The teams will play Game 3 of their Peach Belt series Sunday at 1 o'clock at Dolny Stadium.

Prior to the game, the 2016 Lander baseball team was honored as the players received their Southeast Regional championship rings. The Bearcats won the Regional in Columbus, Ga., last spring by defeating Mount Olive, Belmont Abbey and USC Aiken twice to clinch the program's second trip to the Division II Baseball Championships in three seasons. Lander trailed for only one inning during the entire regional. The Bearcats advanced to the semifinals of the national championship tournament.

Georgia College took a 3-0 lead in the first after Lander starting pitcher Sam Linn walked the first three batters to load the bases. Logan Mattix singled home one run and Schmal added a two-run single.

The Bobcats increased their lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Clayten Ayres singled, stopped at second on Garrett Green's single and scored on Gentry's single.

Georgia College added three runs in the fifth. Wesley Wommack singled, stopped at second when Schmal walked, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ayres, and scored on Brendan Holler's sacrifice fly. Green followed with an RBI single and a third run scored when Gentry reached on an error.

The Bobcats made it 8-0 in the top of the sixth when Mattix doubled and scored on Schmal's single.

Charlie Hecht's shutout bid ended in the bottom of the sixth when Bailey Connell walked and Nathan Schreckengost followed with his 11th homer of the season, a two-run shot over the right-field fence.

Connell led off the bottom of the eighth with his ninth homer of the season, a blast over the left-field fence to pull Lander within 8-3. The Bearcats added another run when Alec Dowell singled, advanced to third on Mason Dodd's single and scored on Reed Gray's sacrifice fly to left.

Gentry singled home a run for the Bobcats in the top of the ninth for a 9-4 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Colton Yeager reached on an error and scored on Connell's single.

Hecht (4-3) was the winning pitcher for Georgia College. Linn (1-6) took the loss.

Gentry was Georgia College's leading hitter, going 3-for-5 with two RBI. Schmal went 2-for-4 with three RBI, Green was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Mattix went 2-for-4.

Connell was Lander's leading hitter, going 2-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBI. Yeager and Dowell were also 2-for-4.