April 14, 2012

Ambrosino Goes the Distance Leading GSW to DH Split

COLUMBUS - Four wins and 34 2/3 innings. That's what Georgia Southwestern pitcher Frank Ambrosino has delivered in his last four starts, all Peach Belt Conference games, including Saturday afternoon's 4-1 victory in Game 1 of the Hurricanes' doubleheader at Columbus State. The Cougars went on to a 6-4 win in the nightcap to earn a split of the twin bill.

GSW snapped a three-game losing streak with its win in the day's opener and is now 10-32 overall this spring and 7-19 in PBC play. CSU stands at 27-16 overall and 13-11 in the the PBC.

GAME 1: GSW 4, CSU 1

The Georgia Soutwestern bullpen has seen little action when Frank Ambrosino has toed the rubber lately. Over his last four starts, Ambrosino has pitched 34 2/3 of a possible 36 innings with two complete-game efforts, the last coming Saturday in GSW's 4-1 over Columbus State.

Ambrosino took care of the pitching against CSU while John Duran took care of driving in the necessary runs. Duran went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Duran helped GSW take a 2-0 lead in the second inning with an RBI single to center field to bring in Beau Parker.

Brett Teschner made it a one-run game in the sixth for CSU with a two-out RBI single up the middle to score Navarro Hall.

Duran struck again in the eighth, giving Ambrosino a couple extra insurance runs with a single up the middle that scored Parker and Jarrod Taylor.

Duran was one of five Hurricane batters with multiple hits in Saturday's opener. Parker, Randall Sheffield, Chase Young and Corey Benson added two hits apiece.

Cameron Scott went 2-for-4 with a double to lead the Cougars.

Ambrosino (4-2) scattered six hits while walking two and striking out five.

Brodie Leibrandt (6-5) was the tough-luck loser for CSU. Leibrandt threw seven innings and surrendered two runs, although both were unearned. He walked two and struck out six. Bronson Gagner walked the only two batters he faced before making way for Chase Gilreath.

GAME 2: GSW 4, CSU 6

The Georgia Southwestern offense scored four runs for the second-straight game, but it wasn't enough in Saturday's nightcap as Columbus State took the series finale, 6-4.

After CSU pushed a run across in the first inning, GSW capitalized on a Cougar fielding error in the second to even the score at 1-1.

The tie didn't last long as CSU scored four runs over the second and third innings to open a 5-1 advantage.

The Hurricanes made it a one-run game in the fifth as a John Duran RBI double down the left-field line sparked a three-run frame.

Eric Weiss gave the Cougars a little breathing room when he led off the home-half of the fifth with a home run to right field.

GSW put the tying run on in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings but was unable to advance the runner past first base.

Duran and Michel Coffey led GSW batters at the plate with two hits apiece.

Weiss and J.D. Pullen collected two hits apiece for CSU.

Matt Weaver (1-8) threw 3 2/3 innings for GSW and allowed five runs (three earned). Tyler Daniel provided 3 1/3 innings of relief with his only blemish being the solo home run to Weiss. Gray Carden pitched a scoreless eighth.

CSU starter Will Casey (6-2) tossed eight innings and surrendered four runs (one earned). He did not walk a batter while striking out nine. Chase Gilreath earned his fifth save by throwing a scoreless ninth.

Southwestern travels to Thomas (Ga.) on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. non-conference game. The contest in Thomasville will mark GSW's 2,000th game in program history.