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Late rally comes up short In series finale for GSW baseball

AMERICUS – The Georgia Southwestern baseball team scored two runs in the ninth inning Sunday and brought the winning run to the plate but could not complete its comeback and lost, 7-5, to Young Harris College in the Peach Belt Conference series finale between the two schools at Hurricane Stadium.

GSW falls to 4-4 overall this spring and 1-2 in the PBC while Young Harris improved to 5-5, 2-1 PBC.

Brett Burgess extended his hitting streak to eight games as he has at least one hit in each of Southwestern’s games this season.

The Mountain Lions scored a run in the first inning and two in the second to jump out to an early three-run lead. They maintained a cushion the rest of the way.

GSW scored its first run in the third inning. Evan Alderman led off with a triple and later scored on Burgess ground out to second base.

Young Harris answered with a pair of runs the next half inning.

Burgess and Alderman were at it again in the fifth. Burgess drove in Alderman with a single to left field this time around.

The Hurricanes pulled within two runs of Young Harris in the seventh when a Will Redding sacrifice fly to center brought home Devyn Newberry to make the score 5-3.

The Mountain Lions answered once again, this time it was with a run in the eighth inning and another in the ninth.

Alderman led off the ninth with a single and scored three batters later, along with Newberry, off Dakota Long’s single down the left field line. Paul Sorrow singled with two outs to join Long on the bases, but that’s where the comeback efforts ended as Young Harris reliever Cole Amtmann forced a fly out to end the game.

GSW leadoff batters were 6-for-9 (.667) on Sunday, but the Hurricanes struggled to bring runners around to score. Southwestern went 3-for-14 (.214) at the plate with runners in scoring position.

Burgess led GSW at the plate going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Evan Alderman reached base four times as he had a triple, single and pair of walks. Alderman scored three of the Hurricanes five runs. Paul Sorrow had two hits, including a double.

Brett Westmoreland collected three hits to lead Young Harris. The Mountain Lions had eight hits from the No. 5 through No. 8 batters in their lineup as Blake Suggs, Troy Kizer, Spencer Thomas and Jimmy Pinakidis had two hits apiece. Only the No. 9 hitter did not have a hit in the game for the Mountain Lions.

GSW starting pitcher Lance Shelton struggled in his first start of the season. Shelton threw four innings, surrendered nine hits and five runs. Coty Graham was solid in his first appearance of the year as he tossed four innings, scattered four hits, struck out three and was charged with one unearned run. Dylan Brown gave up one run during his appearance in the ninth, walked one and struck out two.

Young Harris starter William Leatherwood had the longest tenure on the hill as he pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowed five hits and a pair of runs while walking three and striking out two. Aaron Barfield finished the fifth inning and got the first out of the sixth. Dylan Gibeau (1-1) allowed three runs in his three innings of work and Amtmann picked up his second save of the season by getting the final two outs.

The Hurricanes hit the road for the first time this spring when they travel to North Georgia for a three-game series that opens on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.