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North Georgia falls in Division II World Series

Posted: May 30, 2017 - 11:49pm

The North Georgia baseball team watched its season come to a close Monday in the NCAA Division II World Series.

The third-ranked Nighthawks fell to No. 1 Delta State in an elimination game, 4-0, in Grand Prairie, Texas. Earlier, North Georgia opened the eight-team championship with a 9-4 loss to West Chester.

Former Greenbrier standout Connor Hoover went 3 for 7 with 2 RBI and a pair of walks in the World Series. Against West Chester, Hoover hit an RBI single in the second to help North Georgia establish a 3-0 lead in the second inning. The Golden Rams responded with a grand slam the next inning.West Chester put the game away with five runs in the seventh inning. The Golden Rams led 9-3.

North Georgia tried to mount a rally in the ninth. The Nighthawks loaded the bases with one out. Then, Hoover fell behind 1-2 before battling back to get the count to 3-2. After fouling off two pitches, the North Georgia shortstop plated a run with his RBI walk. The next batter, Michael Gouge, hit into a game-ending double play.

Against Delta State, the Night­hawks had little luck against pitcher Tre Hobbs, who tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout.

The Statesmen plated four runs in the top of the fourth, their only runs of the game. In the bottom of the inning, North Georgia's Devin Gearhart and Hoover led off with consecutive walks. Hobbs responded with three strikeouts to end the rally.

Hoover, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior, had a breakout season. He was named second-team, all-conference and second-team, all-region, finishing the year with a .361 batting average and team highs in triples (five), home runs (18) and RBI (74).

He also led the Nighthawks in hits (84), runs (74), walks (53) and total bases (164). Hoover was also named to the Southeast Regional All-Tournament Team.

North Georgia assistant coach Michael Holder, a Columbia County native, helped guide his team to a 46-12 record, a regional championship and a first-ever appearance in the College World Series.

 

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