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GSW Baseball wins first conference game, but loses series

By Staff Reports

 

AMERICUS – The GSW Baseball Team picked up its first Peach Belt Conference win over USA Aiken 5-1 on Friday night, March 16, at Hurricane Stadium.

However, the Hurricanes were unable to keep the momentum going on Saturday, March 17, as they fell 5-4. On Sunday, March 18, GSW was dominated in Game 3 by the score of 8-1.

GSW finishes the weekend 4-18 overall and 1-14 in the PBC. Heading into Friday’s game, the Hurricanes had only one win in their last 17 meetings with USA Aiken. With the win, GSW’s overall record against the Pacers was 5-8 at home. Their last win against USC Aiken was in 2009.

USC Aiken took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but the Hurricanes responded in the bottom of the sixth with three runs. Devin Shea led off the inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Jason Baita. Kole Clark was able to beat out a chop single into the hole on the left side.

Josh Logan was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases with Hurricanes. Shea then scored on a passed ball. This set the stage for Jared Jones, who belted a two-run single to right field, scoring Logan and Clark.

In the bottom of the seventh, GSW benefited from a two-out, two-run error to get some insurance runs.

GSW Starting Pitcher Kyle Britt (2-0) had a solid performance. He went the distance, throwing 115 pitches. He gave up one run on six hits, walked three and struck out three. The loan run from the Pacers came on a solo home run by Daulton Weeks.

USC Aiken used three pitchers in the game. Starter Zach Refuse (3-2) took the loss after giving up three runs in six innings. Refuse walked four and struck out two.

Kyle Britt has accounted for the Hurricanes’ two wins since opening day. His ERA dropped to 1.67 after Friday’s win. It ranks third among starting pitchers in the PBC.

Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, were different stories. They were not able to sustain the success they had on Friday. They dropped Game 2 on Saturday 5-4 and lost Game 3 on Sunday 8-1.

In Game 2, both starting pitchers were flawless through the first four innings. Both teams combined for just four hits during that span. However, USC Aiken struck first by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Pacers scored those two runs without a hit. They benefited from a hit batsman, a two-base throwing error and a sacrifice fly.

Devin Shea and Jonathan Martin led the Hurricanes’ offense with two hits apiece.

GSW starter Mitch Holloway (1-5) took the loss. He worked 7 1/3 innings, surrendering only one earned run. Holloway walked one and struck out six. Harrison Timberlake came on in relief for Holloway. Timberlake pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He walked one and struck out two.

In Game 3 on Sunday, March 18, the Pacers scored in three of the first four innings. USC Aiken scored two runs in the first on two hits, two walks and a batter hit by a pitch.

The Pacers scored another run in the third. USC Aiken blew the game open in the top of the fourth by scoring five runs on six hits to secure the 8-1 victory. Two of those five runs came on a homer by Daulton Weeks. It was his second home run of the weekend series.

The Hurricanes were able to get runners on base, but were not able to get the clutch hits to drive them home. They stranded a total of 11 base runners in the game. GSW’s only run came in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Devin Shea was the only Hurricane to record multiple hits in Game 3. He went 2 for 4 in the finale and recorded five hits in the series.

GSW starter Kyle Spinks (0-4) took the loss in Game 3. Spinks pitched 3 1/3 innings. Matt Hubbard came on in relief and pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Jared Donalson and Sage Holderfield both came on in relief, each pitching a scoreless inning. All three pitchers had two strikeouts apiece.

The Hurricanes will step out of conference play when they host Middle Georgia State on Wednesday, March 21, at 5 p.m.