Kivett's Slam Powers Braves Past Georgia College
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Seth Kivett's grand slam in the top of the seventh inning helped UNCP rally back from a 5-2 deficit and key the 20th-ranked Braves to an 8-6 victory over No. 12 Georgia College in the front half of a series-opening doubleheader Saturday at John Kurtz Field.
UNCP (27-9, 12-7 PBC) got home runs from both Kivett and newcomer Kenny Mickens, with Kivett also providing a run-scoring knock in the third to key a 2-for-4 hitting line with five RBI. Mickens provided the only other multi-hit outing for the Braves by booking a 2-for-3 day at the plate that included a walk as well.
Kyle Allen and Matt Pitts each registered two-hit performances for Georgia College (24-11, 12-4) who had its nine-game winning streak snapped with the result. Jason Veyna homered for the Bobcats as well.
All-American Matt McGovern (8-1) allowed nine hits and five runs (four earned), but also struck out seven batters in seven innings of work to register the 30th victory of his collegiate career, while also pushing his record at UNCP out to 17-1. Brian Willis tallied his seventh save of the season with quality work in the eighth and ninth innings. Jason Nicholas (2-2) allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits and five walks in six innings from the hill in picking up the loss for the Bobcats.
Consecutive run-scoring knocks by Shawn Ward and Benton Yaun helped Georgia College take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but UNCP countered with lone runs in the next two frames to knot the score back up. GCSU used a two-run homer by Veyna in the sixth, as well as a RBI groundout from Steve Muoio later in the frame, to take a 5-2 lead, but the first three Braves reached in the seventh to set the tables for Kivett's go-ahead blast.
Mickens' two-run homer with two outs in the eighth would stretch the UNCP advantage out to 8-5, with Matt Pitts' RBI double in the bottom of the ninth providing the final.