05/19/17 — D2 SOUTHEAST REGIONAL: Pacers stage dramatic comeback

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D2 SOUTHEAST REGIONAL: Pacers stage dramatic comeback

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 19, 2017 10:23 AM



MOUNT OLIVE -- There's nothing like a little drama to get the adrenaline pumping, especially when you're down to your final three outs.Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, USC Aiken pushed across three runs to defeat Georgia College, 6-5, in game one of the 2017 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Thursday afternoon.

The other two games?

More melodramatic, if you will.

North Georgia's Dylan Peppers threw a complete-game five-hitter during a 4-1 conquest of South Atlantic champ Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.). UNC Pembroke claimed a 6-2 decision over in-state rival Catawba in the nightcap.

Today's schedule:

* Georgia College (35-14 overall) and Lincoln Memorial (33-18) met in the regional's first elimination game at 11 this morning;

* Top-seeded University of Mount Olive (47-8) meets UNC Pembroke;

* North Georgia (43-10) and USC Aiken (40-13) conclude day two.

Game 1

Georgia College, dubbed the "tournament sleeper" by UMO head coach Carl Lancaster and USC Aiken combined for eight runs during the first 1 1/2 innings of play.

Each team settled down from that point. GC didn't sratch over the final seven innings, while the Pacers were held scoreless until their last at-bat after posting three first-inning runs.

Designated hitter Zach Moon was hit by a pitch to start the USCA ninth. Dalton Weeks smashed a home run, his eighth of the season, to left center.

Bobcats 5, Pacers 5.

Jonathan Banks kept the inning alive with a single and advanced to third on back-to-back groundouts. He scored on Luke Westerberg's base knock up the middle. It was Westerberg's 28th RBI of the season.

Westerberg, lead-off hitter Jose Bonilla and Mitchell Price collected two hits apiece for the Pacers. Nick Yobbi emerged as the winning pitcher with three innings of three-hit, two-strikeout relief.

Cal Gentry and Wesley Wommack provided two hits apiece for Georgia College, the No. 6 seed in the seven-team regional. Grant Khan, one of four pitchers used by the Bobcats, endured the mound loss.

Game 2

Peppers allowed one earned run, walked four and struck out eight as second-seeded North Georgia continued its march in the championship bracket.

Peppers (8-3) induced eight groundouts and 10 flyouts during his 115-pitch outing.

The Nighthawks spotted LMU a 1-0 lead in the top half of the third, but tallied the equalizer in the bottom of the third.

NG tacked on additional runs in the fourth, sixth and eight innings. Trevor Sams, Bill Leroy and Connor Corbitt (two RBI) provided two hits apiece. Leroy and Corbitt each belted a home run.

Seth Hunt posted three of the Railsplitters' five hits.

Game 3

Drew Beaver stroked a bases-clearing, three-RBI double in the eighth inning as UNC Pembroke -- another regional sleeper -- knocked off 2015 College World Series runner-up Catawba.

It was Beaver's lone hit of the day.

Freshman Jarratt Mobley, who earned all-Southeast Region accolades, banged out two hits along with teammates Nick Debo and Hayden Buffkin.

Anthony Burke tossed a complete game for the Braves. He yielded two runs on seven hits, retired five Catawba batters on strikeouts and didn't allow a walk.

Catawba used five pitchers. Starter Russ Welker (4-4) was saddled with the loss.