Barons split comeback twin bill with North Georgia


Brewton-Parker College split a Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference baseball doubleheader Tuesday with North Georgia College and State University at the Brewton-Parker field, with each team winning a game with a come-from-behind effort.


Brewton-Parker (14-7, 5-4) scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win the first game 5-4 but watched North Georgia erase a five-run Barons lead in the nightcap to win 8-7.


The doubleheader was postponed from March 1 because of weather. North Georgia won the first game of the series 7-0 Feb. 28 before rain forced the postponement.


In Tuesday’s first game, the visiting Saints had a 5-2 lead after a two-run fourth inning before Brewton-Parker scored one run each in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings.


Then the Barons tied the score on sophomore Johnny King’s one-out double and two go-ahead runs on senior Ricky Nelson’s two-run single. Nelson then scored on an error following senior Denson Gleaton’s single.


“We just scrapped back and stayed in the game even though we were behind, then we busted it open in the sixth,” Barons coach Chad Parker said. “That is what we are trying to teach, that now matter how far down we might be to keep on playing.”


King led Brewton-Parker offensively with a 3-for-3 outing with two doubles, two runs and one RBI. King also was hit by a pitch and tallied 14 total bases in the game. Gleaton was 2-for-3 with three RBI.


Freshman left-hander Josh Dutto (4-0) pitched two innings of one-hit ball to earn the victory in relief of sophomore right-hander Andrew Gernatt, who allowed all five runs on seven hits over four innings. Sophomore right-hander Brent Kennedy forced a double play and a groundout in the seventh to earn the save.


“Dutto gave us a boost by coming in and closing the door,” Parker said. “I thought he was the key to keeping us in the game.”


The Barons built a 7-2 lead after five innings of the nightcap before North Georgia returned the comeback favor by scoring two in the sixth and taking the lead with four runs in the seventh inning.


Sophomore left-hander Trae Wiggins (1-5) was the hard-luck loser after he entered in relief of starting sophomore right-hander Ashley Hooks in the seventh and gave up one hit and the eventual game-winning run as North Georgia recorded four straight hits in the inning.


“They hit the ball and did the things they had to do to win,” Parker said of the Saints. “Now we know why North Georgia is ranked 14th (NAIA preseason ratings). When they get down, they are going to keep fighting. I guess we didn’t have the killer instinct to put them away.”


Freshman Justin Dover led the Barons’ offense by going 2-for-3 with one RBI, and King had an RBI with Brewton-Parker scoring the rest of its runs on six North Georgia errors.