KSU’s men’s baseball team used three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon to take a thrilling, comeback victory to sweep the North Florida Ospreys at Stillwell Stadium in Kennesaw, GA.
The Owls trailed 3-1 in the final frame with Chris McGowan on first base when Andy Chriscaden hit a single, lending the winning run to the plate in Max Pentecost.
Pentecost was seemingly going to be out after hitting a ground ball to short, but a wild throw to second fell to the grass. McGowan scored on the play, while the others runners advanced.
KSU then traded an out for a run as pinch hitter Kody Belcher hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Chriscaden. With two outs and the game knotted at 3-3, the hot-hitting Aaron Dobbs struck with late inning heroics, singling down the left field line, scoring Pentecost for the walk-off victory.
The Owls were quiet for most of the contest, as the Ospreys scored two runs in the top of the second and another in the fifth. The Owls recorded just two hits during that frame, but found a way to heat up as the game went on.
KSU’s pitching endured, nonetheless. Despite having a deep and heavily utilized bullpen, head coach Mike Sansing elected to keep starter Kevin Kyle in for 7.2 innings. Kyle finished with nine allowed hits and three earned runs, but managed seven strikeouts.
Reliever Justin McCalvin earned the victory, coming on to allow zero hits, zero runs, and zero batters walked in the final frames.
KSU’s two-hole hitter, Peyton Hart, had a fantastic game at the plate, going 3-for-4. Andy Chriscaden finished second, going 2-for-4.
With the victory, KSU earned its third straight conference series win. The Owls started the conference season taking two of three games from Mercer in Macon, GA., before taking two of three on the road against Jacksonville four days later.
In the first game of this weekend’s series against the Ospreys, head coach Mike Sansing earned his 900th career victory.
“Great players make good coaches, and we have been fortunate to have so many great players come through Kennesaw State,” said Sansing. “There are so many people that are involved that made the feat possible, and it is a total university accomplishment.”
Starting pitcher Josh Carr impressed in game one as well, earning his sixth straight win on the mound for the Black and Gold.
KSU started the season slow, but is on a hot-streak, going 13-4 in their last 17 contests. The Owls are now 18-11 on the year, but own a clean 7-2 conference record in the A-Sun.
KSU is now tied with USC Upstate (21-7, 7-2 A-Sun) and Belmont (19-10, 7-2) for first place in the conference standings.
The Owls will take a break from conference competition to compete in an in-state rivalry game at Stillwell Stadium, on KSU campus, today at 6 p.m., as the No. 21 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to town. Georgia Tech defeated the Owls 11-5 in Atlanta earlier this season.