No. 11 UNCP takes down Ga. College
Whitman's record tying home run leads Braves to victory
PEMBROKE, N.C. – Seniors Keith Whitman and Jason Coker each belted home runs, while right hander Brad Isom booked his eighth quality start of the season, to propel 11th-ranked UNCP to a series-clinching 4-3 victory over No. 9 Georgia College in the back half of a series-opening doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Sammy Cox Field.
The victory marked the fifth consecutive victory for UNCP (31-7, 12-7 PBC) who also picked up its fifth PBC series victory of the season as well. The outcome sent Georgia College (24-13, 9-8) tumbling to its third consecutive loss, as well as the fourth loss in its last five PBC outings.
Coker homered for the sixth time this season to earmark a 2-for-3 hitting line, while newcomer Brad Bridgeman singled twice on four trips to the plate for the Braves as well. Whitman (1-for-4) tied former teammate Jason Morales for first place on UNCP's all-time home runs list with the 40th round-tripper of his career.
Richard Pirkle homered and scored twice on a 2-for-4 showing for the Bobcats, who also got a 2-for-3 day at the plate from Josh Young.
Isom (7-2) struck out three and scattered four hits and as many walks across seven innings from the hill en route to grabbing his team-leading seventh victory of the season, while Braxton Lewis captured his second save of the day by striking out one in a hitless ninth inning. Eric Pettepher (4-3) was sent to his third-straight loss after allowing four earned runs on seven hits and a trio of walks in six innings of work. He also struck out six batters.
Georgia College lit up the scoreboard first on Benton Yaun's RBI groundout in the second, but UNCP took the lead with four at-bats in the third, including a RBI double by Josh Haley and an ensuing home run by Whitman. Coker's two-out home run in the fifth gave the Braves an insurance run they would eventually need as the Bobcats climbed to within a single run on Pirkle's two-run blast in the eighth.