Gordon State faced Georgia Highlands in a double header on Saturday to decide Game 3 and 4. With the series tied at 1-1, these two games were extremely important as the Highlanders and the Chargers had hopes of gaining the upper hand in conference play. The winner of both games on Saturday would clinch the series, even with an upcoming Game 5 scheduled for Friday, March 30th.
Freshman RHP Adam Leverett was named the Game 3 starter for the Highlanders and did not disappoint. Young Harris commit Brett Hawkins was able to score on a pass ball in the home half of the first to produce the first run of the game. Taking an early 1-0 lead on the Chargers, Adam Leverett went to work. Holding GA Highlands scoreless through five innings, Leverett proved to be a real problem for the Chargers. Plating five runs in the fifth, Gordon was firing on all cylinders offensively. Leverett gave up three runs in the sixth, shaving the Highlander lead to just three runs. Gordon quickly responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to give Leverett some added insurance. Headed into the seventh with a commanding 8-3 lead, Leverett slammed the door on the Chargers to secure the win. Catcher Brian Davis and right fielder Jason Fointno led the way offensively for the Highlanders. The two freshmen each had a pair of hits and both scored twice accounting for half of Gordon’s runs. Fointno went 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI, as Davis went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Adam Leverett gave up three earned runs on seven hits, with four punch outs. The 6’5 freshman moves to 3-1 on the season and proved to be a real head scratcher for the Charger offense. Solid defense, dominate pitching and offensive fire power from the Highlanders resulted in an 8-3 victory and gave Gordon a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game 4 between Gordon State and GA Highlands was nothing short of an offensive showdown between the two conference opponents. Freshman RHP Cal Fuller toed the rubber for the Highlanders, as RHP Tyler Sellers looked to stay undefeated on the mound for GA Highlands. The Chargers were able to take an early four run lead on Gordon, supported by a solo homerun in the second inning from catcher Parker Orr. The Highlanders quickly put up four runs in the third, to tie the game at 4-4 headed into the fourth. Fuller did not last much longer as RHP John-Michael Jones entered the game in hopes of holding the Chargers to four runs. GA Highlands had other ideas and put up three runs of their own. Replacing Jones after his unexpected short outing was LHP Jay Thompson. The Cumming, GA native was able to stop the bleeding and give Gordon’s offense a chance to respond. Catcher Brian Davis led off the bottom half of the fourth with a solo homerun to cut the GA Highlands lead to 7-5. Thompson held the Chargers scoreless in the fifth while Gordon was held scoreless as well. Gordon committed four costly errors in the sixth inning, resulting in four unearned runs scored by GA Highlands to stretch the Charger lead to 11-5. Drew Pepper entered the game out of the bullpen to relieve Thompson in the seventh. The freshman right-hander struck out the side, giving the Highlanders much needed momentum going into the home-half of the seventh. Gordon put up four runs, cutting the lead to 11-9 as freshmen center fielder Datren Bray stepped in the box for the Highlanders with runners on second and third with two outs and a chance to tie the ball game with a base hit. Bray lasered a ball into right field, directly into the right fielder’s glove for the final out of the game as the Highlander’s dropped Game 4 by the score of 11-9.
Brian Moore and Cam Jackson both had a big game at the plate. Moore went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk, while Cam Jackson went 2 for 3 as well, with an RBI and pair of doubles to add to his stat line. Datren Bray, Jermond Williams, and Brian Davis provided additional fire power offensively, each with a homerun. The Highlanders have scored twenty-six runs over the course of their last three games. Although Gordon State was unable to come out with the win in Game 4, if the Highlanders continue to swing the bats as well as they have in recent games, they will be a force to be reckoned with and a team no pitcher wants to face.
Gordon State moves to 19-14 overall with a conference record of 5-4 after the series split with Georgia Highlands. The Highlanders have a big week ahead of them as they will venture down to Tifton, GA to play ABAC on Wednesday and will face GA Highlands once again this Friday at Lakepoint. Both games this week will be the deciding game of a five-game series with each series against the two conference opponents being deadlocked at 2-2. The Highlanders look to take care of business this week and gain a substantial amount of leverage in conference play.