FLORENCE, S.C. — Freshman catcher Andres Perez dropped a two-out, two-run double into shallow center field to snap a 5-5 deadlock and spark second-ranked and top-seeded University of North Georgia to a 10-6 come-from-behind win over eighth-seeded Georgia Southwestern State University, Wednesday evening in the third game of the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament.
North Georgia (41-8) advances to play in a winners' bracket game on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. against either UNC Pembroke or Columbus State.
Perez finished with two hits as did UNG designated hitter Bill Leroy, while first baseman Trevor Sams went 3-for-3 with a double and a three-run homer.
Southpaw Dallas Deavers (2-0), the second of fourth UNG hurlers, earned the win with two and a third scoreless frames.
Georgia Southwestern junior starter Kyle Spinks (2-4) was tagged with the loss as he allowed seven runs on six hits in five innings. He fanned seven and walked six.
North Georgia took a 1-0 in the bottom of the second when Sams led off with a single and later scored from third when Spinks was called for a two-out balk.
The Hurricanes took a 5-1 advantage in the top fourth with a handful of runs. The outburst featured a sacrifice fly, a two-run homer, and two runs scoring on an infield fielding error.
A two-out, two-run single to right by UNG's Devin Gearhart quickly trimmed the margin to 5-3 in the last of the fourth. A run-scoring single by Michael Bell and a sacrifice fly to the left field wall by Steven Tomlinson knotted the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, before Perez delivered his go-ahead hit to put the Nighthawks up 7-5.
A sacrifice fly in the seventh brought the Hurricanes to within 7-6, but Sam's three-run homer to left center with two outs in the eighth plated three insurance runs for North Georgia. The Hurricanes put a pair of runners on base in the top of the ninth, but were unable to mount a rally.