Mountain Lions clinch series against Flagler, advances to final round of PBC Tournament
By Michael MacEachern
Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Communications
Jackson Jones drove in six runs as Young Harris College defeated Flagler 16-3 in seven innings in the deciding game of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinal series against Flagler College Sunday (May 8) afternoon at Zell B. Miller Field.
The Saints had forced the deciding game three as they rallied for an 8-6 win in 10 innings in the opener.
The fourth-seed Mountain Lions improved to 35-17 and advance to the double-elimination final round of the tournament that begins Friday, May 13 in Columbus, Georgia. The bracket will be released by the conference office on Monday, May 9.
Flagler tied the game at 6 with a run in the ninth inning before Donovan Garcia's two-out, two-run homer to left in the 10th gave the Saints the win. It was Garcia's first homer of the season.
Flagler opened up a 5-1 lead before the Mountain Lions exploded for three runs in the bottom of the sixth. YHC got a run on a wild pitch before Ayers stroked a two-run single up the middle.
Young Harris took the lead at 6-5 on Wallace's two-run single through the left side in the seventh.
Underwood, Fitzgerald, Jones and Wallace each had two hits for the Mountain Lions.
Nate Lamb struck out nine over eight innings for the Mountain Lions, while Harris took the loss.
Six of the 15 hits in the nightcap went for extra-base hits.
Jones had a sacrifice fly in the first, a RBI single in the third and ended the day with a grand slam in the sixth. With the six RBI, Jones has driven in 70 runs and set the new single-season RBI, passing YHC Athletics Hall of Famer Zach Bricknell's previous record of 68 set in 2013. It was Jones' team-leading 15th homer of the season.
After Flagler scored a run in the top of the first, the Mountain Lions put the game out of reach with three runs in the first inning and five more in the second to open up an 8-1 lead.
Rome Wallace had a two-run homer to left-center field in the first inning for his 12th long ball of 2022.
Kyle Ayers launched a solo home run to left in the fifth inning. It was Ayers' third homer of the season.
Worley had a run-scoring single and Underwood drove in another with a double down the left field line in the sixth.
Worley and Underwood led the way with three hits each, while Fitzgerald, Jones, Wallace and Ayers had two apiece.
Underwood drove in three runs, while Wallace had two.
In his 100th appearance (82 relief, 18 starts) for the Mountain Lions, McLain Harris (9-4) scattered seven hits over five innings to earn the win.