Hurricanes’ incredible season comes to an end
Published 6:07 pm Friday, May 19, 2023
From Staff Reports
TIGERVILLE, S.C. — The Georgia Southwestern State University Baseball Team (GSW) ended its winning streak at eight as they were swept in the Southeast Regional Tournament on Friday night.
GSW (34-19) faced off against Mount Olive University (MOU) in Game 1 of the Southeast Regional Tournament.
The game was a pitcher’s duel into the bottom of the fourth inning until MOU recorded two hits, scored one run and the Hurricanes committed an error.
MOU scored four more runs and had a 5-0 lead heading into the ninth inning.
GSW fought back while getting its offense going. George Davis singled to start the inning, Pual Hegeman walked and Chris Patterson reached on an error and Jake Blinstrub hit a sacrifice fly.
Miles Hartsfield hit a three-run home run to put the Hurricanes within needing one run to tie the game, but were unable to get the run they needed as they fell 5-4 to MOU.
Davis recorded his second multi-hit game of the season, as he went 2-for-4 and scored a run. The Hurricanes were only able to record five hits in the game three came in the final inning.
PBC Pitcher of the year Nick McCollum battled, but also struggled. He tossed 7.2 innings allowed 12 hits, and gave up five earned runs, as he finished the season with a record of 9-3.
In addition to Davis, Hartsfield, Patterson, and Cory Lee were the only GSW players to record a hit, while Hartsfield and Blinstrub were the only players that scored runs.
Since GSW lost the first game against MOU, they ended up having to face top-seeded North Greenville University (NGU).
The game started rather unusually, as the Hurricanes scored three runs in the top of the first, as Lee and Hartsfield walked. Kalvin Alexander, per usual, hit a three-run home run that gave the Hurricanes the early 3-0 lead. A second-inning home run from Paul Hegeman put GSW in the driver’s seat with a 4-0 lead against the top team in the region.
After four scoreless innings, NGU got on the board in the seventh inning thanks to a triple and a sacrifice fly. NGU was not going down without a fight.
A home run and a fielder’s choice RBI added two runs to the board, as NGU cut GSW’s lead to 4-3.
GSW scored in the top of the ninth and they hoped that would have been the dagger to the heart. Davis reached on a fielder’s choice to bring home Alexander, which gave GSW the 5-3 lead. This put the Hurricanes three outs away from avoiding elimination on Day 1.
However, NGU proved why they were the region’s top-seeded team, as they recorded three consecutive hits. The third hit was the game-winning walk-off home run, as NGU came back to win despite trailing the entire game up until that point.
Hegeman had a great game, as he recorded his third three-hit game of the season He went 3-for-4 with a home run.
Starting pitcher Rijnaldo Euson pitched well enough to win the game for the Hurricanes and was the pitcher of record until the ninth inning collapse. He got a no decision, as he finished the 2023 season with a 9-1 record.
This season was the best season GSW had since joining the NCAA in 2007 the players and coaches should be proud of the incredible season they had as they look to replicate or even succeed in expectations next season.