Tribe 3, Georgia st. 2
The Tribe arrived in Atlanta Friday looking to avenge last season’s sweep at the hands of Georgia State University. However, as Sunday morning arrived, the College was still waiting to take the field as rain washed out the first two scheduled games of the series.
Playing a doubleheader on Sunday, the Tribe managed a split with the Panthers, taking the first contest 3-2 before falling 6-3 in the second game on a walk-off home run.
“Any time you just sit around a hotel room not knowing if you are going to play is hard,” senior catcher Tim Park said. “With the rainouts on Friday and Saturday, our offense wasn’t really clicking, but our pitchers picked us up.”
In the seven-inning opener, senior pitcher Pete Vernon led the Tribe from the mound, tossing six innings of two-run baseball on a rare day when the squad’s bats were subdued.
Park and senior leftfielder Greg Maliniak each provided RBI singles in the first inning to supply the College with an early two-run lead. The Tribe tacked on another run in the third as Park belted an opposite field double and came around to score on a Georgia State error.
The trio of runs proved to be sufficient as Vernon kept the Panther bats in check, surrendering only two runs in the fourth inning.
In the final frame, senior righthander Pat Kantakevich came on in relief and recorded the first two outs before walking the bases loaded. Kantakevich recovered, however, inducing a fly ball out to finish off Georgia State and earn his fifth save.
“Pete and Pat really stepped up and picked up the slack for our offense,” Park said.
Tribe 3, Georgia St.
The Tribe fell behind early in game two after freshman pitcher Tim Norton yielded a pair of runs in the third inning.
Park continued his terrific afternoon by blasting a one-out home run to right field in the fourth, only to see the Panthers answer with a long-ball in the bottom half of the frame, extending Georgia State’s lead to 3-1.
The College was able to tie the game with two runs in the eighth inning, but the Panthers got to Kantakevich in the senior’s second appearance of the day, blasting a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to deny the Tribe a sweep.
The split leaves the College in third place in the CAA with a 10-7 conference record, and a 20-11 record overall.
“In games like these, it comes down to one or two plays that are difference-makers,” Head Coach Frank Leoni said. “In game one, we were able to execute. In game two, Georgia State got it done.”