AMERICUS, Ga. – It was opening day for Georgia Southwestern Baseball, and the 2012 season began with a hearty challenge: the #16 ranked Barry University Buccaneers. The Hurricane arms kept the visitors' bats at bay for the most part as Georgia Southwestern split their doubleheader, 3-4 and 7-0.
GAME ONE: Georgia Southwestern-3 #16 Barry University-4
Senior pitcher Trent Franzago got things going for the Hurricanes in game one. The starter was dealing in the early goings of the game and would do his part by the time his night was over. The Fort Valley native would go six innings of scoreless ball while scattering three hits and striking out four. His shutout was carried over by fellow senior Cameron Blinn in the seventh inning as the Hurricanes led 2-0. The lead came courtesy of a Corey Benson run on a wild pitch and the Blane Parker's RBI single in the fifth inning.
Barry's bats would come alive in a big way in the eighth inning as they would score all four of their runs in the inning. The plethora of runs in the eighth was kicked off by a pair of RBI singles from Sheehan Planas and James Young for the visitors.
The Canes would get a partial answer to the Buccaneers's big eighth inning with a Michel Coffey single that drove in John Duran in the bottom half of the eighth inning to bring the Hurricanes within one 4-3. The comeback would fall short in the final inning despite the Blue & Gold earning two walks to open the inning. BU closer Tim Blackmon would recover to close the game out and earn the save.
GAME TWO: Georgia Southwestern-7 #16 Barry University-0 (7 innings)
The Blue & Gold's starting pitching would pick up right where Trent Franzago had left off and then some. Senior Matt Weaver would have it going for the Hurricanes on the mound as he took a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning before surrendering his first hit.
Weaver would finish the nightcap with a line of six and a third innings with only one hit, five walks and three strikeouts. The Elko native would earn the win in the decision and get Georgia Southwestern its first win of the season with the help of seven runs of support from the Hurricane bats.
After being quiet during the first two innings, Georgia Southwestern would strike first via a three-run third inning. The third's scoring action saw Blane Parker and Andrew Archer each tally RBI singles and Corey Benson bring John Duran home on a groundout to third.
In the fourth, GSW would put up more runs. Third baseman Blane Parker drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to center and shortstop John Duran registered his first RBI of the season driving in Michael Sneed. The inning was capped off by a two-run Michel Coffey home run over the left field fence to give the Hurricanes the 7-0 lead.
Relief pitcher Tyler Daniel would finish what Matt Weaver started by recording the final two outs of the game and keeping the shutout intact.
After splitting the first two games of the 2012 season, Coach McLain and company will look to get the series victory in Sunday's series finale. First pitch is scheduled for noon and as always it will be "Sundaes on Sundays presented by the Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce". Free sundaes will be given to fans at Hurricane Field.