GSW Hurricanes go 2-1 v. Francis Marion, blow out Tuskegee for 10th season win
AMERICUS – Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) junior pitcher, Kyle Spinks, struck out a career-high 10 batters and scattered three hits over seven and two-thirds innings on March 10 at Hurricane Stadium to guide GSW to an 8-1 win over No. 9 Francis Marion University (FMU).
The following afternoon, GSW junior pitcher, Jordan McIlwain, held FMU to one run over eight and one thirds innings in game two of the series and Zach Barron provided a walk-off single to give GSW a 2-1 series-clinching win.
FMU scored five runs in the ninth inning of game three to salvage a win in the series, 12-8.
The Hurricanes then traveled to Montgomery, Al. on March 14 to earn a 15-3 blowout of the Tuskegee University Tigers.
Following this series, the Hurricanes enjoy a 10-13 overall record and are currently 4-5 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
In the March 10 opening game, GSW produced all the runs they would need in the third inning with a two-out rally that started with a single from Jonathan Martin. Following a pair of walks, Will Redding delivered a two-run single to centerfield that brought home Martin and Alex Kranick.
Martin struck again in the seventh inning with a two-run double to score Dakota Long and Andy Moore. Kranick plated Martin with a single on the next GSW at-bat. The Hurricanes finished the seventh with a total of five runs off four hits and a pair of FMU errors.
Martin brought in the final run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Martin led the Hurricanes with three hits and three RBIs. Redding and Evan Alderman collected two hits apiece.
Spinks (1-2) held the Patriots to one run over 137 pitches. Matt Hubbard pitched the final one and one-third innings, allowed three hits, and struck out one batter.
When play resumed on Saturday afternoon, Jared Jones drove in the first run the game with a single in the fourth inning that scored Evan Alderman from second base. Alderman singled to open the frame.
McIlwain handcuffed FMU batters over the first seven innings, holding the Patriots to three hits and forcing a pair of double plays to escape trouble along the way. In the eighth inning, McIlwain worked GSW out of a jam where FMU had runners on second and third with two outs.
In the ninth frame, the Patriots finally cracked McIlwain’s armor with a run. The visitors’ leadoff batter, Zach Callahan, doubled to center before advancing to third on a sacrifice. He then scored off a single through the left side of the GSW infield by Logan Koch. Mitch Holloway was called on to prevent any further damage and did so by forcing two ground balls back to the mound to close out the inning.
Alderman singled to open the home half of the ninth and scored from second on the clutch two-out single by Barron.
Alderman, Jones, and Barron all had two hits apiece in Saturday’s opener.
Holloway (3-1) picked up the win following his work in the ninth. McIlwain allowed eight hits, walked three batters, and struck out two.
While game two was a quick two-hour and 15-minute pitcher’s duel, game three was a different story, lasting over three hours as the teams combined for 20 runs, 25 hits and seven errors.
GSW trailed 2-0 in the second when a walk and back-to-back singles from Jonathan Martin and Andy Moore paved the way for a three-run inning and a brief lead in the nightcap.
FMU tied the game in the fourth and put the Hurricanes in a hole with four runs in the fifth.
GSW answered with a four-run rally in the sixth stanza. Barron opened the inning with a single. Martin followed with a double and Moore drove in the first run of the inning with a single up the middle. Clay Patrick picked up a RBI with his sacrifice fly and two more Hurricanes would cross the plate with the help of a pair of FMU errors.
The score remained locked at 7-7 until the ninth. FMU scored five runs behind four hits and two Hurricane errors to take control of the game and leave Americus with a win in the series.
Martin, who finished four-for-five at the plate in the finale, drove home Barron for the final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth with a double to center field.
Alderman, Jones, and Moore added two hits apiece in the game.
GSW starting pitcher, Dylan Brown, did not factor into the decision. Brown left the game after the fifth inning having allowed five earned runs and seven hits. Drew Powers accounted for three innings of scoreless relief. Powers struck out three batters. Andrew Patrick (0-1) took the loss as he opened the ninth on the hill. Patrick surrendered a pair of earned runs and handed the ball over to Lawson Stewart to record the final two FMU outs.
The ‘Canes kick off a three-game series in Americus on March 18 against fellow PBC member, Lander University. Games are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Game three of the series will begin at 1:00 p.m. on March 19.
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