Smith improves to 6-1, but Hurricanes drop 2 of 3

Published 3:19 pm Monday, March 25, 2019

From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – the Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team opened its three-game weekend series against Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) with a 7-2 win on Saturday, March 23, at Hurricane Stadium. However, the Bears rallied to take Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader 9-4 and they defeated GSW in Sunday’s rubber match by the score of 6-4.

The Hurricanes are now 11-19 overall and 5-10 in the Peach Belt Conference. They have lost five of their last six games. LRU improves to 14-17 overall.

GSW starting pitcher Tucker Smith improved his record to 6-1 on the season when he led the Hurricanes to the 7-2 win over LRU in Game 1 of the series. Smith currently leads the Peach Belt Conference in earned run average (1.64), wins (six) and complete games pitched (three).

Jacob Harrell led the Hurricanes at the plate over the weekend. In the three-game series with LRU, Harrell went 4 for 7 and scored a run. GSW relief pitcher A.J. Hayes struck out three batters in a little over three innings of work and was not charged with an earned run. Harrison Timberlake threw two scoreless innings of relief, and Matthew Mamatas went 6 for 14 at the plate with a double and three RBIs.

Trailing 2-0 in the fifth inning of Game 1, GSW put together a five-hit rally that generated four runs. Hunter Foster drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out, two-run triple. Andy Moore brought home Foster on the next GSW at bat with a single up the middle.

The Hurricanes added some insurance runs in the sixth when Jason Baita drove in two runs on a triple down the right field line. Smith was dominant on the mound in Game 1 against LRU. He struck out seven batters, gave up seven hits without walking anyone.

The Hurricanes trailed 4-0 in Game 2 before scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth. GSW capitalized on three errors by the Bears to get those four runs. Mamatas drove in two of those runs on a double to left field.

However, the Bears responded by regaining the lead in the sixth inning. They would go on to score a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to put the game away. Both teams combined for nine errors in Game 2.

In Sunday’s rubber match between the two teams, the Hurricanes had the lead twice, but were unable to maintain it.

LRU took the lead for good in Game 3 when they scored three runs in the fourth inning. The Bears took advantage of a hit-batsman and belted back-to-back doubles. They also scored runs on a single and a sacrifice fly to put Game 3 away.

Despite outhitting the Bears 25-21 in the three-game series, the Hurricanes left a total of 26 runners on base for the series. GSW committed a total of seven errors during the three games, while the Bears committed a total of five.

GSW will try to get back in the win column when they host West Georgia on Tuesday, March 26. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.