A Will To Win

AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team rallied from four runs down in the seventh to force an extra inning and then topped Armstrong State University's two runs in the 10th with a walk-off infield single from Zach Barron to win the opening game of the Peach Belt Conference series, 11-10, on Friday evening at Hurricane Stadium.

Will Redding turned in a 3-for-5 performance, along with teammates Alex Kranick and Jonathan Martin to lead the Hurricanes offensive attack. Redding ripped an opposite-field triple to right and knocked in a pair of runs. Kranick belted a pair of doubles, had three RBIs and extended his program-best hitting streak to 28 games.    

GSW has won four of its last five games and improved to 17-21 overall, 9-10 in the Peach Belt while Armstrong dropped to 16-22, 1-15 in conference play.

The visiting Pirates led by four runs on two difference occasions in the ballgame. Paced by two runs in the first inning and two more in the third, Armstrong jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

GSW broke through with three runs in the bottom half of the third as Dakota Long and Bradley Hough opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Following a walk to Josh Logan, Kranick extended his hitting streak when he sent a two-run double down the right field line. Logan crossed the plate on the next GSW at bat as Evan Alderman grounded out to the shortstop.

Redding tripled to open the fourth inning and scored off a sacrifice fly from Long. 

Armstrong pushed its lead back to four runs, 8-4, after the sixth.

Kranick doubled to lead off the seventh inning and Redding capped off a three-run, five-hit frame for the Hurricanes with a two-run single up the middle.

Trailing 8-7, Martin led off the GSW ninth inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Redding sent a two-out shot to deep right field and the ball was dropped in front of the wall, allowing Martin to score and giving the Hurricanes new life.  

Armstrong took advantage of three walks in the top of the 10th inning, following a pair of strikeouts to open the frame, to push across two runs and take a 10-8 lead.

Logan drilled a one-out double off the fence in left center field and scored on the next GSW at bat off a single by Kranick to cut the deficit to one run. Martin pulled a pitch to right center field putting men on the corners for the Hurricanes with two outs. As if destined to win the game, GSW was the beneficiary of a second dropped fly ball. On the ensuing play, Barron swung at the first pitch and sent a chopper that dropped between third and short for an infield single and the game winner.          

Hurricanes starter Kyle Spinks threw 5 2/3 innings before handing the ball over to Drew Powers, who turned in a stellar performance out of the pen. Powers pitched four innings, did not allow a hit, was charged with a pair of unearned runs, walked four and struck out nine. Mitch Holloway (5-2) recorded the final out in the 10th inning, walked two and struck out one. 

Armstrong used four pitchers. Starter Aaron Bentley tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs, walked three and struck out four. Bentley exited the game with a 6-4 lead. Nathan Ward recorded the final out of the sixth inning. Sam Godberdhan faced three batters and Caleb Woods (1-4) was the charged with the tough-luck loss as only one of the four runs surrendered was earned over his 3 2/3 innings on the hill.

Mike Warren turned in a 3-for-4 night at the plate to lead Pirate batters. Warren was walked twice, stole a pair of bases and scored five times.

The series wraps up Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.