TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The No. 1 Georgia College Baseball team (43-11) stumbled out of the gate at the NCAA Southeast Regional Thursday, falling 9-4 to Lincoln Memorial University (36-19). The Bobcats will now have to battle back through the consolation bracket.
The No. 7-seed Railsplitters advance to play No. 3-seed Belmont Abbey College. The No. 2-seed Bobcats will face No. 6-seed Wingate University in an elimination game Friday.
"In the game of baseball, there's two types of players, the ones that are humble, and the ones that are about to be humbled," said head coach Jason Eller. "Unfortunately today we got humbled and ultimately that's my responsibility."
LMU jumped out early, putting up five runs in the second, including a pair on a home run by All-Region shortstop Tyler Adams. The Bobcats trailed 8-0 before scoring in the bottom of the fourth.
Railsplitter starter and All-Region pitcher Ethan Elliott did a great job limiting the damage all game, including the fourth, when with second and third and no outs, he induced back-to-back grounders for solo runs.
The Bobcats rallied with single runs in the sixth and seventh, but could inch no closer, despite the best efforts of reliever Perry Keith (Hogansville, Georgia). The junior righty had his best game as a Bobcat, throwing 4 2/3 shutout innings, scattering three hits and not walking a single batter with three strikeouts. Keith rolled two double-play balls, and did the best he could to keep the Bobcats close.
"I'm real proud of Perry, the way he toed the rubber really gave us a chance to win," Eller added. "We had the bases loaded and had runners on second and third with less than two outs a couple times, just couldn't get the big hit."
Catcher Brandon Purcell (Glennville, Georgia) was 3-for-3 with three singles, scoring twice. Leftfielder Brandt Stallings (Buford, Georgia) had a 2-for-4 game with a double, driving home two. First baseman Matthew Miller (San Diego, California) added two singles and scored once.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, May 18 at 11 a.m., taking on the Wingate Bulldogs.