Lawrenceville, Georgia - The Fisher College Falcons dropped game one of the A.I.I. Conference Tournament to the host Georgia Gwinnett College by a score of 13-5. The Falcons look to battle back tomorrow when they take on the College of the Ozarks at 12:00 p.m.
Adkins (13-0) remained perfect on the season and carried the Grizzlies through seven and two-thirds innings of work. The right-handed Cordele, Ga., native edged closer to GGC's single season strikeouts record (98) held by Tyler Carpenter, striking out 10 batters on the evening.
Fisher (19-27) held its only lead of the ballgame in the opening inning of play as an RBI-single to right-center field by designated hitter Cody Mercier put the Falcons on the board with the 1-0 lead over the NAIA's No. 1 ranked team.
In the bottom of the first, the Grizzlies tied the game at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly to deep left by first baseman Zac Rinehart. Moments later, designated hitter Marcus McCorkle battled through an eight pitch at bat to rifle an RBI-triple to the right-center field wall. With the 2-1 lead, Georgia Gwinnett added a third run in the frame when Fisher's starting pitcher committed a balk.
In the second inning, Georgia Gwinnett (52-4) picked back up where it left off in the opening inning to score four runs for the 7-1 advantage. Shortstop Trevor Bradley led the inning off, launching his first home run in a GGC uniform over the left-center fence for the 4-1 lead. A sacrifice fly by second baseman Jereid Woods and back-to-back RBI-singles by center fielder Josh Merrigan and Rinehart contributed to the four run inning as the Grizzlies held a 7-1 advantage after just two innings of play.
GGC and Fisher traded runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth, respectively, to push the game to an 8-2 Grizzly lead, but Georgia Gwinnett's bats were not finished for the evening. In the fifth, four more Grizzly insurance runs would cross the plate to widen the A.I.I. tournament host's gap to 12-2. Of note, two crucial Falcon errors in the bottom of the fifth resulted in GGC scoring two runs during the inning.
The Grizzlies' final run of the evening came off a sacrifice fly to center by pinch hitter Angel Soto to end GGC's scoring with 13 runs.
The Falcons managed three final runs, two in the eighth and one in the ninth, to narrow Georgia Gwinnett's advantage to 13-5, but could not capitalize on offensive chances, falling in defeat to the Grizzlies. With the loss, Fisher moves to the loser's bracket and faces potential elimination with another loss. The Falcons will face off with fifth-seeded College of the Ozarks (Mo.) on Saturday at noon.
Sophomore Jabari Gayle made his pitching debut for the Grizzlies in the eighth inning and went on to record the final four outs of the contest.
The Falcons look to battle back tomorrow when they take on the College of the Ozarks at 12:00 p.m.