WGTC earns first postseason trip to GCAA tournament

WGTC earns first postseason trip to GCAA tournament



CARROLLTON, Georgia – The West Georgia Tech baseball team earned a berth in next week’s Region 17 Tournament with a doubleheader sweep of East Georgia College in action Sunday at Carrollton High School’s baseball stadium.

The Golden Knights won the first game 10-4 and then overcame a 5-0 deficit to take game two 6-5.

West Georgia Tech entered the weekend in a virtual tie with four other teams for two spots in the tournament.

Rather than put themselves in a position to need help to get in, the Golden Knights sealed the deal by winning all four.

The Golden Knights will play in the postseason for the first time in school history, and will play in the tournament in just its second year competing in Division 1, the top level of competition in JUCO baseball.

“I’m proud of the guys, and I’m really happy that we got the job done today,” West Georgia Tech head coach Todd Pratt said. “We really grinded it out, we kept fighting and we found a way to win that second game.”

West Georgia Tech closed the season with a five-game winning streak to finish at 24-28 overall, 13-19 in conference play. East Georgia closed its campaign at 11-37 and 4-27.

West Georgia Tech had no problems in game one, as they took control of the game by scoring in each of the first four innings which included a four-run fourth that stretched the lead to 9-3. They coasted the rest of the way.

Jamie McKnight and Anthony Brown each hit home runs. For Brown, it was his second homer of the series. For McKnight, it would be the first of two homeruns on the day.

Rus Morman (2-for-5), Nic Vinson (2-for-4), Blake Butcher (2-for-4) Brown (2-for-4) and Matthew Pope (2-for-4) all had multiple hits for the Golden Knights.

Kyle Peals got the win on the mound. He went 7.0 innings and allowed three runs on six hits with two strikeouts.

The Golden Knights were down 5-0 in the third inning in game two, but scored six unanswered runs to win the ballgame 6-5.

Jamie McKnight sparked the comeback with his second homer of the day, a shot over the right field wall with one out in the third inning.

West Georgia Tech added a run each in the fourth and fifth to close to within 5-4, then scored two in the sixth to take the lead for good.

Tyler Gunnin got the win after throwing four solid innings in relief of starter Tyler Banks. Gunnin allowed no runs on three hits with four strikeouts.

“Tyler Gunnin was big for us. He has really come into his own the past three or four weeks, and that will be a big help for us in the tournament,” Pratt said.

Blake Butcher was the only Golden Knight with multiple hits in game two, going 2-for-3.

WGTC managed just five hits while East Georgia had eight.
West Georgia Tech will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed and will play at either noon or 3 p.m. Wednesday on the opening day of the Region 17 Tournament in Albany.

If the Golden Knights get the five-seed, they would play Gordon, which WGTC split with 2-2 in the regular season series.

A six-seed would mean WGTC opens with host Darton.

"We will be ready to go,” Pratt said. “How we do down there depends largely on our pitching. It’ll be a tough road ahead but we’ll be ready.”

Pratt indicated that staff ace and Troup County product Brad Bartlett would get the start in Wednesday’s opening game.