AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern pitcher Matthew Suggs has done just about all he can to put the Hurricanes in a position to win during the past month, but unfortunately the Leesburg native has had a run of bad luck.
For the third time in four starts, Suggs has exited with GSW ahead in the latter innings only to watch opponents rally for a victory. The latest gut-wrenching defeat came Saturday afternoon as Suggs' day ended after eight innings with the Hurricanes on top of 19th-ranked Georgia College, 6-5. The visiting Bobcats scored a run in the ninth and pushed across two more in the 10th to take Game 1 of the three-game weekend Peach Belt Conference series, 8-6.
It should be noted that in the one game in his last four starts where Suggs did not have an opponent snatch a "W" away, he tossed a complete game for the win. That was at Francis Marion on March 1.
The Bobcats closed the gap to 5-4 in the fourth inning and tied the game in the fifth when Taylor Hinshaw was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and no outs.
That's when Suggs turned on the afterburners.
Suggs struck out the next three batters to escape with minimal damage and followed by striking out the side in the sixth. After allowing a single to open the seventh inning, Suggs struck out his seventh batter in eight opportunities.
GSW missed on a chance to regain the lead in the home half of the seventh by leaving the bases loaded.
Not quite done, Suggs picked up two of the three outs in his final inning, the eighth, by strikeout.
Suggs final stat line shows eight innings pitched, two walks and nine Ks. Georgia College did get to Suggs early in the game as he allowed 12 hits overall and five runs.
Zac Whittmus pitched the ninth for GSW and Zach Smith (0-2) suffered the loss in the 10th.
Georgia College brought three pitchers to the hill on Saturday as well. Starter Spencer Thomas threw three innings, allowed five runs - four earned - and eight hits. He struck out two and walked one. Josh Pape held the Hurricanes to one run over his three innings and Jordan Modine (2-0) threw four scoreless frames.
Les Cromer went 3-for-4 from the plate to lead GSW. He had a double and a RBI. Taylor, Moss and Evan Alderman picked up two hits apiece.
Clay Ardeeser led Bobcat batters with a 5-for-6 performance that included two RBIs and a stolen base. Daniel Bick added three hits and a pair of stolen bases and Mike McGraw, Brandon Benson and Ryan Sabalaskey had two hits apiece.
GSW and Georgia College meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday for a doubleheader that will wrap up the weekend series.