DAHLONEGA — Conner Corbitt hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, but the No. 23 University of North Georgia baseball team fell at the hands of Florida Tech Friday night, 7-4, in the 2018 season opener at Bob Stein Stadium.
The Panthers struck first in the fifth inning with a Peirson Reynolds solo bomb to left field. UNG responded in the bottom half of the inning after Jake Howard hit a double and scored on a William Mapes squeeze bunt to tie the game, 1-1.
After a two-run inning from FIT, the Nighthawks answered again with Corbitt's shot to left-center. Florida Tech retook the lead in the top of the seventh, though, on a two-run home run from Daniel Szpik, giving them the lead that they would not relinquish. The Nighthawks added a run in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-4, but UNG was held to just one base runner over the final two innings while the Panthers scored a single run in the final two innings.
- Corbitt's homer was the first he has hit since the opening game of last year's NCAA Regional against Lincoln Memorial.
- FIT's Ty Cohen earned the win, while Logan Burt was tabbed with the loss. Andrew Beyer was credited with a save. UNG starter Cade Heil was given a no-decision after his 5.2 inning debut where he gave up three runs and struck out four.
The Nighthawks will play two more games against FIT in the series as a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon. First pitch from Bob Stein Stadium is set for 1 p.m. Game two will be played approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.