Bobcats win Southeast Regional No. 2 with 4-3 win over No. 19 Mount Olive

Bobcats win Southeast Regional No. 2 with 4-3 win over No. 19 Mount Olive
Bobcats win Southeast Regional No. 2 with 4-3 win over No. 19 Mount Olive

TIGERVILLE, SC | Georgia College & State University got seven strong innings from starter Jacob Ryan and held on for a 4-3 baseball decision over No. 19 University of Mount Olive in the finals of the 2024 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional No. 2 Saturday (May 18) afternoon at Ray and Bea Dillard Field at Ashmore Park on the University of North Greenville.

With the win, the seventh-seeded Bobcats, who are 8-0 so far this postseason, won their ninth consecutive game as they improved to 37-20, while the No. 3 seed Mount Olive ended their campaign at 39-18. GCSU, which won all three meetings with the Trojans in 2024 and are 7-2 all-time against UMO in the postseason, will advance to the Southeast Super Regionals for the first time in program history when they will travel to Salisbury, North Carolina, May 24-25 where they will face Catawba College in a best-of-3 series to determine who will represent the region at the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship in Cary, North Carolina, June 1-8. First pitch at Newman Park for game one is scheduled for 6 pm Friday (May 24), with game two to start at 3:30 pm Saturday (May 25) with an if-necessary game to follow.

Mount Olive took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an Aiden Cottle sacrifice fly, but the Bobcats tied the game at 1 in the second. Matthew Mebane led off with a walk and moved over to second base on a wild pitch. Mebane advanced to third on a Mitch Cowan ground out and scored on Cam McNearney’s sacrifice fly to left-center field.

The Trojans reclaimed the lead at 2-1 in the third on a ground out from Dylan Jeffries, but GCSU tied it up at 2 on Braeden Smith’s solo home run to right field in the fourth. It was Smith’s sixth long ball of 2024. The Bobcats took the lead for good in the fourth inning against UM) starter Brian Robertson (0-1). Mebane drew another walk and moved to second on an Evan Cowan ground out. Mebane advanced to third on an infield single by Mitch Cowan and scored on McNearney’s RBi ground-rule double to right field. Mitch Cowan later scored on Rand Bestermann’s sacrifice fly to right to give GCSU a 4-2 lead.

Ryan improved to 8-2 on the hill for the Bobcats as he scattered six hits – only two after the third inning – and struck out four over seven innings. Lex Kenny recorded his seventh save as he pitched the final two innings to preserve the win, allowing just a homer to right-center field by Case Kermode to start the ninth inning.

GCSU collected five hits against the Trojans with Mitch Cowan recording the only multi-hit game for the Bobcats with two.


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