DAHLONEGA — The ball was flying out of the park Friday night at Bob Stein Stadium, at least for the third-ranked University of North Georgia baseball team as the Nighthawks soared past Augusta, 15-4, while setting a new UNG single-game home run record with seven long balls on the night. With the victory, North Georgia improves to 19-4 on the season with a 6-1 record in the Peach Belt Conference.
Trevor Sams got the home run derby started in the bottom of the first making the Jaguars pay for a pair of first inning walks, sending the first pitch of the at bat over the wall in left center to hand the Nighthawks an early 3-0 lead.
Augusta got on the board with a sacrifice in the top of the third, scoring what would end up being their only earned run of the night against UNG lefty Steven Bower (5-1).
Connor Hoover got the run back in the fifth though with a solo homer to left. The Nighthawks added two more in the sixth with an RBI double to left by Kal Dempsey and a two-run blast to left center by Andres Perez that put UNG up 7-1.
Hoover went yard again in the seventh with another solo shot, this time to right, and Michael Gouge made it back-to-back homers with a solo bomb to straightaway center. Later in the inning Dempsey didn't disappoint on his bases loaded opportunity delivering a grand slam over the left field wall to give the Nighthawks a 13-1 advantage. UNG would bat around in the inning and Gouge picked up another RBI with a single up the middle to plate Perez and make it a 14-1 game.
After the Jaguars scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth, Steven Tomlinson came up with an answer, getting in on the home run fun with a solo shot to center that gave the game its final score, 15-4.
- The seven home runs are a new single game team record for North Georgia. The Nighthawks had previously hit six home runs in a game on three different occasions, including two six-home run games against Armstrong in 2009, once in the regular season and once in the PBC Tournament.
- Connor Hoover continues his hot streak at the plate with tonight's two home run performance. It is the junior's first career multi-home run game. Hoover has got a hit in all but two games this season. He is the only Nighthawk to have reached base in every game this season.
- Michael Gouge led the team at the plate with an impressive 4-for-4 night that included a double, a home run, two runs scored, two runs batted in, and one walk.
The Nighthawks will look to clinch the series victory in game two tomorrow. First pitch at Bob Stein Stadium is set for 2 p.m.