GSW baseball team clinches Peach Belt Conference regular season championship
Published 8:16 pm Monday, May 1, 2023
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – After taking the first two games in their season finale serious against Flagler College by scores of 4-0 and 9-6, the Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team (GSW) found themselves one win away from clinching the program’s first ever Peach Belt Conference regular season championship. Thanks to the timely hitting of Miles Hartsfield and Cory Lee, along with solid pitching from Colby Gordon, the Canes were able to realize their dream, as they defeated the Saints 8-6 on Sunday and swept the three game series en route to a Peach Belt Conference regular season title.
“It’s a special day for the program and if you look at the investments that Dr. Weaver and Coach Leeder have made into the program, not only with baseball, but with the athletic department, it’s a long time coming,” GSW Head Coach Josh McDonald said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit to the guys that have helped pave this way up to this point and the guys on this team. Some of those have been here for five years and kind of seen the growth throughout the years. I look at it as every player who has put on the navy and gold, they earned a piece of this too because there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it throughout the course of the year, so again: a special day for the program and we’re looking forward to hosting the tournament this weekend and continue to keep this thing going,” McDonald continued.
Trailing 1-0 to Flagler going into the bottom of the first, the Hurricanes scored two runs on two hits and took advantage of an error and a passed ball. They increased their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second when Chris Patterson belted a solo home run over the left field wall.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Canes added two more runs on a two-run homer by Hunter Foster, but the Saints would score a run in the top of the fifth, making the score 5-2 in favor of GSW. However, the Hurricanes kept swinging the bats and scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on a single by Cory Lee.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, GSW added another run when Paul Hegeman drove in Garrett Bradley on a sacrifice fly. At this point, the Hurricanes led 8-2.
However, the Saints would not go away. In the top of the eighth, they scored four runs on two hits. The big hit was a three-run home run by Bryce Fitzgerald. At this point, the Hurricanes were clinging to an 8-6 lead.
Fortunately for GSW (29-17, 22-8 PBC), they were able to whether the storm and held on for the 8-6 win to secure the PBC regular season championship.
Cory Lee led the GSW offense by going 3 for 5 at the plate with three singles, an RBI and two runs scored and Miles Hartsfield went 2 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored.
Colby Gordon started on the mound for the Hurricanes and gave up only two runs on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts in six innings of work to get the win (4-1). Grant Adams came on in relief of Gordon and gave up four runs on two hits, but two of them were earned. He issued one walk and one strikeout.
Nick McCollum came on and got the save for the Canes. In an inning of work, he gave up no runs on a hit and had one strikeout.
The Hurricanes (29-17, 22-8 PBC) will host Augusta University on Friday, May 5, in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.