AMERICUS, Ga. – The Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team forced a rubber game in the three-game series against the University of West Alabama played at Hurricane Stadium over the weekend. GSW suffered a 13-8 loss in the opener on Friday afternoon before rebounding with a win in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, 4-2, behind a complete-game effort from starting pitcher Tucker Smith. West Alabama held off a late GSW rally to take the finale, 4-3.
The Hurricanes come out the weekend with a record of 3-4, while West Alabama improved to 4-2. The Tigers hold a 19-6 advantage in the all-time series during GSW's NCAA era (2007-19).
- GSW's last win against West Alabama coming into the weekend was Feb. 9, 2013.
- The Hurricanes snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Tigers with their win on Saturday.
- Hunter Foster led GSW at the plate for the second straight week. Foster was 6-for-11 at the plate against West Alabama with a double, two walks and a three-run, inside-the-park home run.
- Andy Moore slapped four hits, including a double, was walked twice and drove in four runs.
- Jonathan Martin had five hits in Saturday's doubleheader, including two doubles and a home run.
- Smith was outstanding once again as he held West Alabama to two runs over nine innings for the complete-game win. Smith struck out two and did not walk a batter. He has not walked a batter through his two starts and 15 innings pitched this season.
- Game 3 starting pitcher Sage Holderfield turned in a strong outing, despite taking the loss. Holderfield lasted 5 1/3 innings, held West Alabama to four hits, walked two, struck out four and two of the three runs charged were unearned.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- GSW led 2-0 after the first inning and 4-1 after the fourth in Game 1. After West Alabama struck for four runs in the fifth, the Hurricanes regained the lead momentarily in the bottom half when they pushed across two more runs to go up 6-5. A five-run seventh sparked by a pair of GSW errors proved to be the difference.
- Martin opened Game 2 with a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Hurricanes their second consecutive two-run first inning. Martin scored the game-winning run in the fifth on an infield ground ball deep in the hole between first and second base by Moore.
- Moore delivered an insurance run in the seventh inning of Game 2 with a double to right field that plated Bo Halcomb. Smith retired the side in order in the seventh and eighth innings and closed out the ballgame with a runner on first in the ninth.
- West Alabama scored the first run of Game 3 in the fifth inning and followed with three unearned runs in the sixth. The Hurricanes defense committed two of their five errors in the finale in the sixth inning.
- Jason Baita ripped a one-out single to right field in the eighth for GSW and Martin was walked with two outs to set the stage for Foster's heroics with his inside-the-park home run, but the Hurricanes momentum was snuffed out when they were retired in order in the ninth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- GSW had three more hits in the series (28-25) than West Alabama.
- The Hurricanes left 28 runners on base, West Alabama stranded 21.
- GSW put the leadoff man aboard on 6 of 26 opportunities (.231).
- The Hurricanes were 3-for-8 at the plate (.375) with the bases loaded and 11-for-34 (.324) with an RBI opportunity.
- The bullpen surrendered eight earned runs over nine innings and allowed 12 hits over the weekend, but was stout in the finale, keeping the Hurricanes within striking distance by combining for 3 2/3 innings of two-hit ball while being charged with one unearned run.
- GSW's favorite inning to score in was the eighth. They pushed across five over the weekend.
- The Hurricanes are home Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Auburn Montgomery before embarking on a seven-game road trip.