AIKEN, S.C. – The West Division fourth-seeded Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes accrued four multiple-run innings, including six runs in the top of the eighth inning en route to garnering the upset victory over the East Division first-seeded Francis Marion Patriots in the first game of the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. The Hurricanes surprised many in their first ever trip to the PBC tournament by besting the Patriots 14-6.
With the win, Georgia Southwestern improves to 28-18 for the 2010 season and will continue their season Sunday, May 9 when they take on Flagler College in the semifinal round of the single elimination tournament.
Francis Marion is now 38-12 after the loss.
Tyler Boyd opened the game up for Francis Marion when he scored off a double by Barrett Kleinknecht to the warning track in the gap in right-center field to put the Patriots up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
The Hurricanes blew into the lead in the top of the second inning with three runs off five hits. Byron Haynes and Jared Allen both crossed the plate to score when Allen ripped a home run over the left field wall.
Chris Lingham followed later when he scored off a sacrifice fly to right field by Bud Long to give Georgia Southwestern the 3-1 lead.
Kleinknecht kept the game close for the Patriots in the bottom of the third inning when he sent a home run over the right field wall, pulling Francis Marion within one.
The Hurricanes opened their lead up to four in the top of the fourth inning with three runs off four hits and one Francis Marion error. Beau Parker found his way home when Kevin Carroll brought him in with a well-placed bunt for a single.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Bud Long scored a few moments later off a single to shallow centerfield by Trent Dooley.
Allen stepped to the plate with the sacks still loaded to push Carroll across the dish and put the score at 6-2.
The Patriots attempted to fight back in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings when Austin Smetana scored off a single to left field by Kleinknecht in the fifth.
Preston Shuey homered in the sixth inning to pull Francis Marion within two.
That would be as close as the Patriots could close in on the Hurricanes as Georgia Southwestern was able to accrue eight runs over the next two top innings.
In the top of the seventh inning, Parker scored first in the drive off a sacrifice fly to left field by Carroll.
Long followed just moments later to put the score at 8-4 as he crossed the plate when Carroll sent a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Hurricanes loaded the sacks once again in the top of the eighth inning before Parker stepped to the plate. Parker jacked a bases clearing triple to right-center field to score Chris Lingham, Allen, and Paschel Poston and then scored himself off a single to center field by Carroll.
After Long scored off a chopper through the right side by Stanton, Georgia Southwestern opened up a 10-run lead when Dooley grounded into a double play to score Carroll and post the score at 14-4.
The Patriots were able to get one run back in the bottom of the eighth inning when Taylor Norfleet crossed the dish when Logan Bland knocked a single through the left side.
Kleinknecht made an effort to get the cycle and help the Patriots come back when he sent his second home run of the game over the left field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it was not enough as the Hurricanes held on to keep the final score at 14-6.
All nine of Georgia Southwestern’s starters garnered at least one hit as the Hurricanes out-hit the Patriots 22-8. Four players garnered multiple RBI games while five Georgia Southwestern batters crossed the dish for multiple runs.
Parker led the Hurricanes at the plate going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored while Carroll was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Allen went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs of his own and two runs.
Only two Patriot batters were able to garner multiple hits in the game. Kleinknecht led Francis Marion at the plate going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored off two home runs.
Senior hurler Ryan Lackey recorded the win on the hill for Georgia Southwestern in seven innings of work. He improves to 4-3 for the 2010 season.
Francis Marion utilized a slew of eight different pitchers over the course of the game. PBC Freshman of the Year Don Sandifer suffered his first loss of the season on the mound. He is now 6-1 for the 2010 campaign.
Georgia Southwestern will continue their run in the single-elimination tournament when they take on the Saints of Flagler Sunday, May 8 at 11 a.m. Flagler earned a berth in the first semifinal game of the tournament after they bested North Georgia 7-5 at Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta, Ga. on Saturday afternoon.
Watch postgame interviews at the links below...
Georgia Southwestern Head Coach Bryan McLain:
Georgia Southwestern Pitcher Ryan Lackey: