‘Canes top off season with pair of wins over Young Harris
By MICHAEL MURRAY
YOUNG HARRIS – The Georgia Southwestern State University Hurricanes baseball team capped off their 2016 season with a pair of conference wins over the Young Harris Mountain Lions on April 29-30.
In the first match-up of the series, the ‘Canes pulled in a hard-fought 10-7 victory. The following afternoon, the Hurricanes earned a 2-1 win over their hosts. A third game was scheduled in the series, but hat to be canceled due to inclement weather conditions.
With the pair of successes, the Hurricanes put the stamp on their 2016 season with a 25-24 overall record. The Hurricanes finished 8-21 in the Peach Belt Conference.
Game one saw the Hurricanes pull ahead early, tossing the first run of the game on the board when Devyn Newberry singled up the middle, plating Will Redding.
The ‘Canes expanded their advantage in the top of the fifth frame when Dakota Long sparked a rally with a double to left center that scored Alex Kranick. Brett Burgess followed with a single to center field that plated Long. Redding then followed suit, doubling to left center to bring in Burgess.
From there, the Mountain Lions staged their comeback effort, adding a pair of runs in each of the following two frames to tie the score 4-4.
GSW continued their onslaught in the seventh when Burgess offered up a sacrifice bunt to bring in Kranick. In the eighth stanza, Kranick doubled to left field, plating Brandon Weaver. Kranick went on to cross the plate on a Zach Barron single to close out the inning.
In the final inning of the match, Weaver scored on an Evan Alderman single before Newberry proceeded to steal home plate. Alderman brought GSW’s final total to 10 runs on a Kranick double.
The ‘Canes held Young Harris to one run in the seventh and two more in the ninth to cinch the comfortable three-point victory.
Kranick set the pace for the Hurricanes in the match, collecting four hits and bringing in one RBI. Newberry followed close behind with three hits and one RBI. Kranick brought in three runners for the ‘Canes. Alderman, Long, Burgess, Redding, and Weaver each connected on a pair of hits.
Jordan McIlwain opened the game on the mound for GSW, tossing six innings and striking out seven batters. Chad Adkins is credited with the win after throwing two innings and striking out a pair of Mountain Lions. Mitch Holloway wrapped up the ninth, striking out one.
The next afternoon, the Hurricanes returned to the field for their final contest of the season.
The game went scoreless until the top of the seventh when Davey King came in off an Alderman single. Newberry scored on the next at-bat to put the ‘Canes up by two. Young Harris plated their only runner of the game in the bottom of the seventh, leaving the Hurricanes up 2-1 at the match’s conclusion.
Alderman and King each contributed two hits to the win.
Dylan Brown went the distance for GSW on the hill, pitching all nine innings while striking out four batters.
The Hurricanes had six seniors on this year’s roster; Newberry, Burgess, Weaver, Earl Dupree, and Daniel Perez. 31 players from the team’s roster are expected to return next season.
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