February 3, 2012

Lions Open Season with Impressive Showing in 14-2 Trouncing of North Georgia

VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Saint Leo baseball team didn't need very long to start scoring runs in the 2012 campaign as the Lions plated three in the top of the first inning en route to a 14-2 thumping of North Georgia at the Comfort Suites Classic played at Valdosta State University on Friday night.

Holding a 3-0 advantage before their opponents stepped to the plate; Saint Leo (1-0) took the lead and stretched it to 6-1 after just three innings.  Behind starting senior Aaron Brandt's (1-0) five-innings of work on the mound, the Lions controlled the game from start to finish.

In picking up his first victory, Brandt gave up one run on five hits while striking out four.  The Lions' pitching staff, in total surrendered two runs on eight hits as Brandt, Matthew Hewitt and newcomer Tyrone Miller combined to get the victory.

At the plate, the Lions' power showed with six extra-base hits including a Chris Newcomb homer in the ninth.  The sophomore finished 2-for-4 with two RBI as he was one of four Saint Leo players with multiple hits.  Shortstop Zach Miller went 3-for-4 with three RBI while Ryan Brnovich and Brendan Collins each went 2-for-5.

Defensively, the Lions were unblemished, not registering an error while North Georgia (0-1) had two miscues in the game.

The win also marked the 100th career victory for Head Coach Russ McNickle between Saint Leo (62) and Meridian Community College (38).

Saint Leo will look to continue to hold the hot bats when they take to the diamond again tomorrow and face Lindenwood (Mo.).  First pitch is scheduled for noon at Billy Grant Field on the Valdosta State campus.  For the latest news, information, and updates on the baseball team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.