AMERICUS - There's an old baseball rally cry that everything happens after two outs. Well, Georgia Southwestern turned the chatter into reality in a 3-2 upset victory over No. 2 Lander University at Hurricane Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Down 2-0 in the eighth inning with two outs and the bases empty, GSW rattled off four consecutive hits to defeat the Bearcats. Hurricane starter Matthew Suggs put a stamp on the victory as he retired the visitors in order in the ninth.
Lander won Game 2 of the weekend Peach Belt Conference series, 16-3, to split the doubleheader.
GSW ended the day with a 8-20 overall record, 4-13 in the PBC, while Lander sits at 28-4, 16-4 in PBC play.
The three-game series concludes Monday at 2 p.m.
GAME 1: GSW 3, #2 LANDER 2
Suggs walked the first batter of the game and Lander took advantage by scoring two runs on two hits in the opening inning. Suggs walked one more batter the rest of the afternoon.
The 2nd-ranked Bearcats carried their 2-0 lead into the eighth inning.
After the first two batters for GSW were retired, Evan Alderman singled through the left side of the infield to start the Hurricanes rally. Josh Sanders followed with a single to left field and Stephen Eldridge tied the game at 2-2 with a double down the left field line.
Jarrod Taylor smacked the game-winner for GSW with a single to center field that brought home Eldridge.
Suggs, the PBC leader in complete games pitched this season, closed out Game 1 with a 1-2-3 frame.
Taylor led all batters with three hits in the contest. Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double and the game-winning RBI. Alderman added two hits and Eldridge drove in a pair.
Connor Lewis and Graham Ramos collected two hits apiece for Lander.
Suggs (3-2) has won his last two starts, both of which were complete games. On Sunday he scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out seven.
Dylan Wolchik (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season. He lasted 7 2/3 innings, allowed eight hits, three runs, walked one and struck out six. Brandon White threw 1/3 of an inning.
GAME 2: GSW 3, #2 LANDER 16
Devyn Newberry knocked in a pair with his single in the fourth inning to pull GSW within a run at 3-2, but Lander scored 10 runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to put Game 2 out of reach.
The Hurricanes managed one run during that same three-inning stretch when Corey Benson singled home Jarrod Taylor in the fifth.
The Bearcats added a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to close the game out at 16-3. Lander collected 26 hits in the ballgame, which ties for the most allowed by GSW since the Hurricanes joined the NCAA in 2006-07.
Although the teams combined for 19 runs in the nightcap, the score could have been much higher as both sides left plenty of runners on base. The two sides combined to strand 28 (Lander 15, GSW 13).
Benson collected two hits to lead GSW.
Lander had eight of its nine starters finish with multiple hits. Austin Dunn and Connor Lewis led the barrage. Dunn went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBIs. Lewis was 4-for-7 with a double, home run and three RBIs. Erik Lunde added three hits - including a home run - and three RBIs.
Zac Wittmus (0-7) took the loss for the Hurricanes, giving up eight hits and three runs in 3 1/3 innings of work. He walked two and struck out two. Zach Smith pitched 2 1/3 innings. Earl Dupree covered 2/3 of an inning and Justin Barnes tossed the final 2 2/3 innings.
Taylor Alvarez (7-1) notched the win for the Bearcats, hurling six innings of six-hit, three-run ball. Alvarez walked four and struck out six. Johnny Walker, Bryce Clifton and Matt Thorpe each threw an inning of scoreless relief.