March 2, 2014

Francis Marion Wins Series Finale

FLORENCE, S.C. - The Georgia Southwestern baseball team allowed four runs over the final four innings to drop the three-game series finale, 5-4, at Francis Marion University on Sunday afternoon at Sparrow Stadium.

GSW has lost eight of its last nine games and falls to 4-13 overall and 2-7 in the Peach Belt Conference. Francis Marion improves to 9-7 overall and 2-4 in PBC play.

The Hurricanes doubled up FMU in hits, 12-6, in the ballgame, but committed four errors. GSW stranded 12 runners and the Patriots left 10 on the bases.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Southwestern pushed across its first run of the afternoon in the third. Jarrod Taylor drove in Devyn Newberry with a single through the left side of the FMU infield.

GSW grabbed the lead in the fifth inning when Les Cromer scored from third on a wild pitch. Cromer opened the frame with a single and advanced to second when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. He moved to third when the next batter, Newberry, grounded out to first.

The Patriots evened the score in the sixth inning with an RBI double from Marquis Curry and regained the lead with a two-run seventh highlighted by Luke Tollison's RBI double. The final FMU run came in the eighth when the Patriots made the score 5-2 off of a Michael Wilson RBI double.

Southwestern made things interesting in the top half of the ninth. Dylan Griffin pulled the Hurricanes within a run after his two-out, two-run single to center field scored Taylor and Evan Alderman. Zach Moss followed by reaching base on an infield single to put runners on first and second. FMU forced a fly out to end the game. 

Starter Lance Shelton (1-4) threw seven innings for the Hurricanes before making way for Earl Durpree. Shelton allowed five hits and three earned runs. He walked two and struck out four. The Patrots pushed across what would prove to be the game-winning run in the eighth during Dupree's inning on the mound. 

FMU starter Jordy Santak (3-2) allowed one earned run in seven innings. GSW collected seven hits over Santak's time on the hill, was walked twice and struck out twice. John Rossi threw a scoreless inning of relief before Jeremy Hatfield (2) avoided the blown save by surrendering two runs and four hits in the ninth.  

Josh Sanders led Hurricane hitters with three hits. Alderman and Taylor collected two hits apiece.

Tollison and Curry had 2-for-4 performances for FMU. Both men had a double and a RBI.

GSW travels to Valdosta State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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