Hurricanes Hold Off ASU, West Georgia
AMERICUS – The Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes baseball team has had a busy week! The ‘Canes pulled in a 10-6 win over Albany State University in a non-conference match in Americus on March 17 before returning to Hurricane Stadium the next day to defeat West Georgia 5-4.
GSW has won three of its last four games and improved to 8-17 this spring. With the losses, ASU drops to 5-16 overall and West Georgia falls to 17-7. The ‘Canes are currently 13-5 against Albany State since joining the NCAA in 2006-07. The Hurricanes have fared well against UWG as well, controlling the series 8-1, since joining the NCAA.
The March 17 match began with a brief ceremony commemorating former Georgia Southwestern baseball player, Evan Bozof. During the ceremony, the school retired Bozof’s jersey number (17) as his former teammates and family looked on before the Hurricanes took the field.
Bozof, an honor student and member of the GSW baseball team, passed away in 1998 following a battle with meningitis. He was only 20 years old. The event, dubbed “Meningitis Awareness Day” sought to honor and remember Bozof as well as create awareness about meningitis and the meningitis vaccine. Bozof’s father threw the ceremonial first pitch in the match.
When the action began on the diamond, GSW jumped out to a 6-0 lead against ASU and held on for the 10-6 win.
Evan Alderman led off the game for GSW with a double and scored three batters later off a sacrifice fly from Davey King. The next batter, Paul Sorrow, singled to center field to score Brett Burgess and give the Hurricanes a quick 2-0 lead.
GSW struck again in the fourth inning. The Hurricanes brought eight batters to the plate and manufactured three runs off one hit, a bunt single by Zach Barron. King and Sorrow reached base after being hit by a pitch. Nick Fonseca walked. An ASU error led to two runs.
The Hurricanes stretched their lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning with a solo home run from King, his first four-bagger of the season.
ASU answered with a run in the seventh before Southwestern added three more in the bottom half of the frame. Burgess led off the inning with a single, then proceeded to steal second and third. He scored on a Sorrow sacrifice fly.
Josh Tatnall drove in two runs with a two-out single down the right-field line.
The Hurricanes took a 10-1 lead into the ninth.
ASU scored three runs to pull within 10-4 and had the bases loaded with one out, but GSW forced a fielder’s choice and Jared Crum struck out the final batter to give the Hurricanes the win.
Burgess and Barron led the GSW offense with two hits and two runs apiece. King scored three times.
Hector Carrasquillo and Uwen Udofia collected two hits apiece to lead ASU.
Coty Graham (1-2) was outstanding on the hill for GSW. Graham threw five scoreless innings, walked two, struck out six and held ASU to two hits. Matthew Hubbard worked two innings of relief, allowed a run, but did not give up a hit. Hubbard walked two and struck out two.
Sahir Fersobe (1-3) started for ASU and pitched three and two-third innings. Fersobe allowed five runs (four earned) and four hits. Damarkus Green matched Fersobe with three and two-third innings on the mound. Only three of Green’s five runs surrendered were earned. Fontayne Washington got the final two outs for the Golden Rams.
GSW came from two runs down to defeat the West Georgia Wolves 5-4 upon returning to the field on March 18.
Dalton Rogers put the Wolves ahead in the first inning with a two-out, two-run double to center.
The Hurricanes tied the game in the third. Burgess belted an RBI double to left field that scored Dalton Watley who opened the frame with a single.
UWG regained the lead in the fifth inning when an errant exchange on the throw back to the mound after a pitch allowed Tyler Hutch to score from third.
GSW grabbed its first lead of the evening in the bottom half of the fifth. Sorrow delivered a two-out, two-run single to left after Alderman and Burgess opened the inning with back-to-back singles.
The Wolves tied the game 4-4 in the seventh.
GSW quickly capitalized on back-to-back, one-out walks in the bottom of the seventh. Barron delivered the game-winner, a two-out single to right field that scored Will Redding.
Burgess and Watley led the GSW offense with two hits apiece. Burgess scored twice.
Hutch led all batters with a 3-for-4 evening. He scored twice. Rogers and Artemis Kadkhodaian added two hits apiece for the Wolves.
Jordan McIlwain pitched the opening four frames for GSW. McIlwain allowed two runs but held UWG to two hits. He walked one and struck out four. Mitch Holloway was charged with an unearned run over his two innings on the hill. Holloway gave up four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one. Ranieri (1-1) picked up his first collegiate victory in one inning of relief. Kyle Romstadt was outstanding in his inning of work as he racked up three strikeouts. Kyle Spinks shut down the Wolves in the ninth for his second save of the spring.
UWG Starter Josh Morgan lasted four innings, allowed three of the Hurricanes’ runs. Colton Duttweiler (2-2) allowed the decisive run.
GSW returns to Peach Belt Conference play on March 20 at Hurricane Stadium with the series opener against UNC Pembroke at 5 p.m.