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Georgia College shuts out Railsplitters 12-0 to eliminate LMU from NCAA D-II Southeast Regional

MOUNT OLIVE, NC-- John Clark tossed eight scoreless innings and the Bobcats' offense scattered 17 hits to propel Georgia College to a 12-0 victory on Friday at Mount Olive College's Scarborough Field, ousting Lincoln Memorial University from the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

After suffering a 9-3 loss to tournament host, Mount Olive, on Thursday evening, the Railsplitters' season came to an abrupt halt in a 12-0 loss at the hands of Georgia College on Friday. Lincoln Memorial caps the 2013 campaign with a 26-26 overall mark that included the program's first South Atlantic Conference tournament championship and NCAA Southeast Regional appearance. Georgia College improves to 34-18 on the season with the win, advancing to take on the loser of the game between USC Aiken and Coker, which squares off at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.

The Railsplitters mustered only three unearned runs off of Mount Olive starter Alex Regan on Thursday evening, and the offense continued to struggle at the dish against Georgia College's John Clark on Friday. Clark handcuffed the Railsplitters through eight innings of scoreless work on the mound, surrendering only three hits over that span while striking out five. Clark improved to 6-1 on the season to keep the Bobcats' hopes alive in the Southeast Regional.

The Railsplitters' struggles at the plate were magnified by productivity of their offensive counterparts, as the Bobcats struck early and often to give Clark the run support he needed. Clay Ardeeser set off a five-run rally for the Bobcats in the bottom of the third by ripping an RBI single into right-center field. Steve Hazel followed that run-scoring hit with a three-run blast over the right-center field wall, and Mikee Moore added another RBI single in that frame to propel the Bobcats in front, 5-0.

Though that would be all the run support necessary for Clark, the Bobcats added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth behind an RBI single from Clay Ardeeser and sacrifice fly outs off the bats of Cody Maas and Jeremy Donaldson. Ikaika Anderson tacked on a run for the Bobcats with an RBI single in the fifth, while Georgia College tallied five singles in the sixth to push five more runs across the plate, mounting a 12-0 lead.

All told, Georgia College scattered 17 hits in the contest with seven different hitters rounding out their stat ledger with multiple hits. Steve Hazel led the way with three hits, three RBI and two runs, while Jake Sandlin also tallied three hits, an RBI and two runs.

The Railsplitters' offense was held to four hits, all of which were doubles. Those two-baggers came off the bats of Curt Fuqua, Andre Rodriguez, Nolan Woody and Jacob West.

Logan Sawyer was saddled with the loss on the mound for Lincoln Memorial, as he was chased from the game after allowing five hits and five runs in 2.1 innings of work. The Railsplitters needed six total pitchers to bring the game to a close. Austin Johnson was a bright spot on the bump, tossing a flawless bottom half of the eighth with a strikeout to his credit.

Daniel Szathmary came on in relief in the top of the ninth for the Bobcats, working his way out of a lead-off double by Andre Rodriguez to keep the shutout intact.

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