FLORENCE, SC – Third-seeded Georgia College, the nation's top-hitting team, rattled off 11 unanswered runs to erase an early deficit and cruise to a 12-2 win over 13th-ranked and second-seeded USC Aiken, Thursday afternoon (May 11) in a winners' bracket Game at the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament.
Georgia College (33-13) advances to a winners' bracket game on Friday at 8:30 p.m., while USCA (39-12) will face sixth-seeded Flagler College in an elimination game on Friday at 10 a.m.
GC junior catcher Brandon Purcell went 4-for-4 with a homer and three runs driven in. Five other Bobcats rapped out two hits: Brandon Benson, Logan Mattix, Wesley Wommack, Phillip Stiles, and Garrett Green.
Center fielder Jose Bonilla (2-for-4) was the lone Pacer with multiple hits.
Bobcat junior right-hander Charlie Hecht (6-3) went the distance to earn the win. He scattered seven hits, allowed only one earned run, and fanned five in the seven-inning contests (ended by the 10-run rule).
USCA ace Joseph Benitez (11-3) suffered the loss as he allowed seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 4.2 innings.
The teams traded unearned runs in the second inning, with both scoring on sacrifice flies by USCA's Skylar Mercado and Georgia College's Nate Schmal. Ditto in the third, when both squads plated single tallies: USCA on an RBI single by Mitchell Price and the Bobcats on Wommack's run-scoring fielder's choice grounder.
Georgia College broke the stalemate in the fourth when Stiles and Green singled followed by a fielder's choice grounder. With two outs and runners on the corners, Benitez uncorked a wild pitch allowing Stiles to race home.
The Bobcat lead increased to 7-2 with a four-run outburst in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Clayten Ayers.
Wommack tripled to lead off the Georgia College sixth and Purcell followed with a two-run homer over the left field wall. A two-run homer by Benson into the left field parking lot and a game-ending RBI single by Purcell accounted for the final tallies in the seventh.