February 23, 2014

Late Collapse Costs GSW In Series Finale

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team was unable to hold on to an early six-run lead as Armstrong State University posted seven runs over the seventh and eighth innings and handed the Hurricanes a 9-6 loss on Sunday afternoon at Pirate Field.

GSW has lost its last six games and falls to 3-11 overall and 1-5 in the Peach Belt Conference. Armstrong extends its current winning streak to six games while improving its overall record to 9-3 and its PBC mark to 5-1.

The Hurricanes wasted no time getting the early jump on Armstrong. The first five GSW batters singled. Stephen Eldridge drove home Devyn Newberry and Dylan Griffin knocked in Evan Alderman on an infield single. Josh Sanders brought home Jarrod Taylor with a one-out sacrifice fly and Neal Chambless closed out the frame with a RBI single to center field that plated Eldridge and gave Southwestern a 4-0 advantage.

GSW bumped the margin to 6-0 in the third inning with a sacrifice fly from Gabe Selochan. The next batter, Newberry, punched a single to score Sanders.

Armstrong was held to a pair of hits until the fifth inning. In the fifth, the Pirates closed the gap to 6-2 with a two-hit, two-run inning.

The momentum began to shift to the home side in the seventh as Armstrong took advantage of two singles, a balk and a double to pull within 6-4.

Things fell apart for Southwestern an inning later. The Pirates opened their half of the eighth with three walks and two singles to even the score and load the bases for R.J. Dennard, who delivered a game-winning, base-clearing double.

Starter Lance Shelton threw 6 1/3 innings for the Hurricanes before making way for Zach Smith (0-1). Shelton allowed seven hits and four runs. He walked four and struck out three. Smith surrendered three runs, two hits and three walks in his inning of work. Coty Graham faced three batters in the eighth and Earl Dupree closed out the ballgame. 

Armstrong starter Tyler Allen allowed six runs in three innings. GSW collected 10 hits over Allen's time on the hill, was walked twice and struck out once. Tyler Green (1-1) threw five innings of scoreless relief and Ryan Good earned his third save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth.  

Devyn Newberry led Hurricane hitters with three hits. Even Alderman was 2-for-5 and Stephen Eldridge finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and a walk.

Clayton Miller notched three hits, including a double, and three RBIs to lead Armstrong. Cody Sherlin went 2-for-3 as the ninth batter in the Pirate lineup, scored three times and had a RBI.

GSW returns to Americus to host Valdosta State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.