Sanchez’s walk off single secures Hurricanes’ series sweep of USC Beaufort
Published 4:24 pm Monday, March 20, 2023
AMERICUS – Having taken the first two games of a three-game series at home against USC Beaufort (USCB) by scores of 10-0 and 6-0, the Georgia Southwestern State University Baseball Team (GSW) came into Sunday’s rubber game against the Sand Sharks poised to take Game 3 for the sweep. For seven and a half innings, however, USCB led 3-2 and appeared to be on its way to salvaging a game, but Paul Hegeman ‘s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth tied the game at 3-3 and Victor Sanchez’s walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth earned the Hurricanes a come-from-behind 4-3 victory and the three-game sweep over the Sand Sharks on Sunday, March 19, at Hurricane Field.
“I think if you go back to Games 1 and 2, we pitched it well and scored offensively,” GSW Head Coach Josh McDonald said. “When you come to Sunday, it just comes down to them trying to salvage a series and we’re trying to sweep a series. Fortunately, we stayed in it long enough and then had the big opportunities in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off,” McDonald continued.
The sweep puts the Hurricanes at 13-9 overall and 10-5 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
The Hurricanes got on the board first in the bottom of the second when they scored two runs on two hits. Hunter Foster belted an RBI triple to right center field and Chris Patterson followed that up with an RBI single.
However, the Sand Sharks struck back in the top of the third when Josh Patterson hit a two-run home run to tie the game. Later on in the inning, USCB took a 3-2 lead, as Aiden Driscoll-Sadusky reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second base and a throwing error by the Hurricanes allowed a run to score.
For the next four and a half innings, the Sand Sharks led 3-2, but in the bottom of the eighth inning, GSW pinch hitter John Austin Sutton led off the frame with a single. Josh Newton, who was brought in to pinch run for Sutton, advanced to second base on a throwing error. Later on in the inning with two outs, Garrett Bradley drew a walk. Both the throwing error and the walk gave GSW first baseman Paul Hegeman the opportunity to come through with a runner in scoring position, which he did by driving home Newton on an RBI single, tying the game at 3-3.
The Hurricanes were able to hold USCB scoreless in the top of the ninth, which set in motion the events that led to Victor Sanchez’s walk off, game-winning single. Jake Blinstrub singled to right field for GSW and would shortly thereafter advance to second base on a wild pitch. Miles Hartsfield then executed a sacrifice bunt that allowed Blinstrub to advance to third and Cory Lee was intentionally walked with one out to set up a possible double play. However, after Matthew Mamatas was intentionally walked. Victor Sanchez drove in Blinstrub on a walk off RBI single to give the Hurricanes their series-sweeping 4-3 victory.
Both Miles Hartsfield and Hunter Foster each went 2 for 3 at the plate for GSW, with Hartsfield scoring a run and driving in another. Victor Sanchez went 2 for 5 with the walk off RBI and a run scored and John Austin Sutton came off the bench to go 1 for 1 with a single.
Carson Plumadore, who came on in relief in the eighth inning, got the win for the Hurricanes and is now 2-0. Plumadore pitched 1.2 scoreless innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Grant Adams got the start on the mound for GSW. In seven inning of work, Adams gave up three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. George Osborne III came on in relief of Adams and gave up a hit and a walk.
USCB (11-16, 4-11 PBC) was led offensively by Carson Phillips and Wesley Ambrose, who each went 2 for 4 at the plate. Relief pitcher Noah Coleman ended up taking the loss (0-3), as he gave up Sanchez’s game-winning hit.
The Hurricanes (13-9, 10-5 PBC) will return to Hurricane Field on Tuesday, March 21, to host Albany State at 6 p.m.