FLORENCE, S.C. - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team led North Georgia, 5-1, in the fourth inning, but the 2nd-ranked Nighthawks closed the door on a potential upset with three runs in the eighth to defeat the Hurricanes, 10-6, on Wednesday evening in the first round of the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Tournament at Sparrow Stadium on the campus of Francis Marion University.
North Georgia, the top seed in the tournament, jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a run in the second inning.
GSW put together a four-hit fifth inning, sparked by a two-run home run from Dakota Long, and aided by a pair of North Georgia errors to take a 5-1 lead.
A pair of walks and a two-out single helped North Georgia shave the GSW lead down to two runs, 5-3, in the bottom of the fourth and the Nighthawks took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth.
Trevor Sams halted the GSW rally with a three-run blast in eighth for the final runs of the ballgame, putting North Georgia ahead 10-6.
Sams went 3-for-3 with a double, the home run and three RBIs to lead North Georgia batters. Bill Leroy and Andres Perez added two hits apiece.
Dallas Deavers (2-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Blake Gaubert for North Georgia. Deavers threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
GSW plays the No. 4 seed in the tournament, Columbus State, on Thursday in an elimination game at 5 p.m.