FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. – The Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team opened its 2019 season by winning two of three games played at the Lions Den over the weekend. GSW suffered an 11-8 loss to Emmanuel College on Friday afternoon before rebounding to split the two-game series and cruise to a 14-7 win on Saturday, the first victory under new head coach Josh McDonald. The Hurricanes wrapped up their weekend with a thrilling three-run rally in the ninth inning Sunday to come from behind and defeat Salem University, 7-6.
- Emmanuel scored two runs in the seventh inning and five in the eighth to erase an 8-4 GSW lead on Opening Day.
- The Hurricanes belted six home runs over the weekend and already have half of their total from last year. GSW hit its sixth home run of the 2018 season on March 27.
- Freshman Hunter Foster and sophomore Bo Halcomb led GSW at the plate. Both players tallied a total of five hits over the three games and posted a .385 batting average. Foster had two doubles. Halcomb had two home runs.
- Game 2 starting pitcher senior Tucker Smith was outstanding as he held Emmanuel to one run over six innings, struck out six and did not walk a batter.
- Sophomore reliever Harrison Timberlake retired Salem in order in the ninth on Sunday to pick up his first save of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Emmanuel trailed by multiple runs on two different occasions in the opener before handing the Hurricanes their first loss of the spring. The Lions trailed 2-0 after the first, but answered with a run in the second inning and three in the third to take the lead. GSW regained the advantage and stretched the margin to four runs, 8-4, before the home team came storming back with seven unanswered runs.
- GSW dominated Game 2 and led 10-0 after their half of the fifth. The Hurricanes blasted home runs in three consecutive innings (3-5) with the dagger coming from Mark Felton in the fifth, a three-run shot that was part of a six-run frame.
- The Hurricanes scored three runs in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead against Salem, but was held to just one hit over the next four frames and trailed 6-3 heading to the eighth. Sophomore Jamison Wilks tripled with one out in the eighth inning and was brought home by junior Jacob Harrell's single. Wilks drove in the game-winning run in the ninth as part of the three-run rally.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- GSW matched the opposition with 32 hits over the weekend.
- The Hurricanes left 34 runners on base, opponents stranded 23.
- GSW put the leadoff man aboard in 12 of 27 opportunities (.444).
- The bullpen surrendered 10 earned runs over 11 2/3 innings and allowed 16 hits over the weekend, but was stout in the finale, keeping the Hurricanes within striking distance by combining for four innings of one-hit ball while surrendering only one earned run.
- GSW's favorite inning to score in was the fifth. They pushed across seven over the weekend.
- Home opener is Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Shorter University.