'Canes Split Doubleheader, Win Series Against #9 Francis Marion

AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern junior pitcher Jordan McIlwain held No. 9 Francis Marion to one run over 8 1/3 innings Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Hurricane Stadium and Zach Barron provided a walk-off single to give GSW a 2-1 series-clinching win. Francis Marion scored five runs in the ninth inning of Game 2 to salvage a win in the series, 12-8. 

The Hurricanes exit the weekend with a 9-13 overall record and a mark of 4-5 in the Peach Belt Conference while Francis Marion doubled its loss total over the weekend, falling to 19-4 overall, 3-3 in the PBC.

GSW travels to Patterson Field in Montgomery, Ala., to face Tuskegee University on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

GAME 1: GSW 2, #9 FRANCIS MARION 1

Jared Jones drove in the first run the game with a single in the fourth inning that scored Evan Alderman from second base. Alderman singled to open the frame.

McIlwain handcuffed Francis Marion batters over the first seven innings, holding the Patriots to three hits and forcing a pair of double plays to escape trouble along the way. In the eighth, McIlwain worked out of a jam where Francis Marion had runners on second and third with two outs. 

In the ninth, the Patriots finally cracked McIlwain's armor with a run. The leadoff batter, Zach Callahan, doubled to center, advanced to third on a sacrifice and scored off a single through the left side of the GSW infield by Logan Koch. Mitch Holloway was called on to prevent any further damage and did so by forcing two ground balls back to the mound to close out the inning.

Alderman singled to open the home half of the ninth and scored from second on the clutch two-out single by Barron.

Alderman, Jones and Barron all had two hits apiece in Saturday's opener.

Reese Cooley had two hits for Francis Marion. 

Holloway (3-1) picked up the win following his work in the ninth. McIlwain allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out two.

Francis Marion starting pitcher Garrett Wilson (4-1) suffered his first loss of the spring. Wilson pitched eight innings, allowed seven hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out three. Cole Hinnant gave up a hit and walked a batter during his 2/3 of an inning in relief.

GAME 2: GSW 8, #9 FRANCIS MARION 12

While Game 1 was a quick two-hour and 15 minute pitcher's duel, Game 2 was a different story, lasting over three hours as the teams combined for 20 runs, 25 hits and seven errors.

GSW trailed 2-0 in the second when a walk and back-to-back singles from Jonathan Martin and Andy Moore paved the way for a three-run inning and a brief lead in the nightcap.

Francis Marion tied the game in the fourth and put the Hurricanes in a hole with four runs in the fifth.

GSW answered with a four-run rally in the sixth. Barron opened the inning with a single, Martin followed with a double and Moore drove in the first run of the inning with a single up the middle. Clay Patrick picked up a RBI with his sacrifice fly and two more Hurricanes would cross the plate with the help of a pair of Francis Marion errors.

The score remained locked at 7-7 until the ninth. That's when things went sour for the GSW pitching staff for the first time all weekend. Francis Marion scored five runs behind four hits and two Hurricane errors to take control of the game and leave Americus with a win in the series.

Martin, who finished 4-for-5 at the plate in the finale, drove home Barron for the final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth with a double to center field.

Alderman, Jones and Moore added two hits apiece in the game.

William Robbins led Francis Marion at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance. Zach Callahan had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice.  

GSW starting pitcher Dylan Brown did not factor into the decision. Brown left the game after the fifth inning having allowed five earned runs and seven hits. Drew Powers accounted for three innings of scoreless relief. Powers struck out three. Andrew Patrick (0-1) took the loss as he opened the ninth on the hill. Patrick surrendered a pair of earned runs and handed the ball over to Lawson Stewart to record the final two Francis Marion outs.

Sam High, the Patriots starting pitcher, went five innings, allowed five hits, three runs - one earned - and two walks while striking out five. Christian Umphlett was roughed up for four runs in 1/3 of an inning before Austin Hawley (3-2) settled in for the final 3 2/3.