April 26, 2011

'Canes win season finale in walk-off fashion

AMERICUS - Michel Coffey's two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored senior Jared Allen to propel Georgia Southwestern to a 6-5 victory over visiting Valdosta State at Hurricane Stadium Tuesday evening.

Allen walked with two outs in the frame and stole second before Coffey singled to center to drive him home for the winning run.

GSW jumped out to an early lead as it scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Andrew Anderson opened the scoring with his second home run of the year, a shot to left that also scored Corey Benson. The Hurricanes also got an RBI double from Beau Parker and a run-scoring single from John Duran in the frame.

Valdosta State (18-25) struck back for a run on a Bobby Triglia RBI single in the third before cutting its deficit to 4-2 in the fourth when Ryan Noelte singled home a run.

Antonio Clark scored Chaz Bagwell, who had reached on a two-out single and stolen second base, with a single in the seventh inning before VSU took the lead with a pair of two-out runs in the eighth, giving the Blazers a 5-4 advantage.

GSW responded with a run on an Anderson two-out single in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Andrew Archer, who opened the frame with a walk, to even the game. Valdosta State stranded a runner at second in the top of the ninth to set up the decisive bottom of the ninth.

Anderson, Paschal Poston and senior Jody Sellars tallied two hits each to lead the Hurricanes offensively while Gray Carden improved to 4-2 after giving up four hits and two runs in two innings of work while striking out one. Senior starter Zach Whitman tossed five innings, allowed two runs, scattered eight hits, struck out one and walked one. Seniors Stephen Daneman and Corey Hawes pitched an inning of relief apiece. 

The Blazers were led at the plate by Clark's three hits and two each from Bagwell, Christian Glisson, Josh Vining and Noelte. Bud Fuller fell to 3-4 on the year after allowing two hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings of relief work. VSU used four pitchers in the contest, as well.

With the win, GSW takes the season series against VSU two games to one. It's the first time the Hurricanes have won the series since joining the NCAA in 2007. The two teams split in both 2007 and 2008.

Southwestern finishes the 2011 campaign with a 27-21 record while posting the program's second consecutive winning season.