Carrollton, GA - In the final non-conference battle of the 2012 season, the UWG baseball team hit the road for an in-state contest with North Georgia. The Wolves used an early four-run outburst and held off a late rally from the Saints to pull out a 7-5 victory over the Saints.
The Wolves were able to take advantage of runners on base in this one, something that has plagued the team throughout the season. Just last night against Carson-Newman, UWG's hitters found the grass 12 times, but produced only one run. Tonight in northern Georgia, the Wolves scored seven runs on 13 hits.
The scoring started early for West Georgia, as senior Stuart Drew led off the game with a walk. Junior right fielder Brett Wright moved Drew to second with a sacrifice bunt, then back-to-back singles from Andy Marinelli and Evan Hester brought Drew home with the game's first run.
Freshman starter Marquis Vialet allowed a hit in the bottom half of the first, but kept the Saints of the board and let his offense do the work.
Tanner Drennen led off the bottom of the second with a double, followed by Adam Whitlock, who blasted his fourth home run of the season off the scoreboard in right-center to give the Wolves a 3-0 lead. The hit parade continued through the inning, asGarrett May and Wright each picked up a single, with Wright's single bringing home May after an error from North Georgia left fielder Terrell Jones.
That was the end of the scoring for the inning, but the Wolves held a 4-0 lead, but it wouldn't stay, as Vialet gave up a pair of doubles and a single, giving the Saints two runs in the bottom of the second, with all but one of the hits coming with two outs. Head coach Skip Fite gave the ball to Alex Wilson, who induced a flyout to NGSU cleanup hitter Matthew Black with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Wilson was just shy of perfect in his outing, throwing 4.1 hitless innings, allowing no runs while striking out two and walking three and earning the win.
The UWG offense added a single run in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings to seal the victory, but freshman Alex Allen came on in the bottom of the ninth, striking out North Georgia shortstop Dustin Carpenter looking to close out the game and the victory. The save was Allen's second of the season.
Whitlock led the UWG offense on the afternoon, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Evan Hester had a solid outing as well, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. May was the third UWG player with an RBI on the night, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Wolves will close out the regular season this weekend in Cleveland, MS, taking on the Delta State Statesmen in Gulf South Conference action.