It was a perfect sunny Saturday for Georgia College President Steve Dorman to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the Bobcat’s baseball game against the King University Tornadoes.
The pitch directly followed the celebratory ring ceremony for the 2013 Peach Belt Conference champions – the Bobcats.
Dorman walked to the pitcher’s mound and pitched the ball to start off the 2014 season.
“I think [the catcher] helped me out a lot,” Dorman said of his pitch. “But it was really fun.”
That set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Bobcats defeated the Tornadoes 18-1 in the first game and 7-0 in the second.
After the pitch, the Bobcats manned their positions – their crisp white pants contrasting with the bright colors of the field. The crowd, which included Dorman and his wife, cheered senior pitcher Justin Blue as his pitch sliced through the air and landed in junior catcher Steve Hazel’s glove.
“The first pitch was a fastball that was a little inside,” Blue said, regarding his pitch against the Tornadoes batter. “I saw no change up in his stance, so I just cheated a little and hooked it.”
Senior left-fielder Ryan Sabalaskey also helped the Bobcats’ success, going 3 for 5 with three RBIs and one run.
This victory put the men in the record books, with an 18-1 win to open the season.
The temperature began to drop as the Bobcats and Tornadoes prepared for the second game, which fit the tone of the game itself.
By the bottom of the sixth inning, the score was 0-0, making the game a nail-biter.
However, the Bobcats stepped it up and managed to score seven runs by the end of the inning, which secured their victory.
“They were good opening wins,” coach Tom Carty said. “We need to win tight games [like the second game] to prepare us because we’re going to have a lot of those the rest of the season.”
Junior first baseman Clay Ardeeser’s takeaway from the doubleheader was that of resiliency. Ardeeser commented that the team needs to learn to “battle through and come out on top” as it did in the second game.
Blue admitted that the Tornadoes were good competitors and spoke of his goal to win nationals.
“That’s every team’s goal,” he said.
The men played another close game against the Tornadoes the following Sunday.
At the bottom of the ninth, the score was 5-5, but the Bobcats eventually shut the Tornadoes down.
The Bobcats will face the undefeated Tampa Spartans in a triple-header during Homecoming weekend.