Chargers lead from start to finish in 1st-round win

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Gordon State narrowly beat out Georgia Highlands for the No. 4 seed in the GCAA tournament.

Despite batting second and having last licks by virtue of beating out the Chargers for fourth in the conference, Georgia Highlands defeated Gordon anyway Wednesday in the first round at Darton State by a score of 7-4.

Georgia Highlands will face off against the host, Darton State, today at noon.

The Chargers led the whole way Wednesday, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning when Brandon Bell, Brandon Etheridge, Nick Fink and Daniel Gooden hit four consecutive singles to lead off the game.

Georgia Highlands then took a 4-0 lead with the third inning when an error, two walks and two RBI groundouts put two runs on the board.

Gordon State came back with one run in the bottom of the third inning, but the Chargers responded right back in the fourth inning when Jonathan White took a bases-loaded walk to make the score 5-1.

Gordon State would put the Chargers on edge in the fifth inning, scoring three runs on a solo home run, two errors and a double to make the score 5-4.

However, Daniel Gooden’s two-run home run in the sixth inning gave Georgia Highlands some breathing room and a 7-4 lead.

The final three innings were scoreless for each team. Colby Taylor pitched the seventh and eighth for GHC, while all-conference closer Will Griffin came on in the ninth inning for his 15th save of the season.

Tanner Thomson got the state for the Chargers and pitched six innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits and four walks with six strikeouts to pick up the win.

Georgia Highlands’ No. 3 hitter, Nick Fink, went 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while cleanup hitter Daniel Gooden went 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored.