AMERICUS, Ga. – The Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team swept its Saturday doubleheader against Francis Marion University at Hurricane Stadium to open its three-game weekend Peach Belt Conference series against the Patriots. GSW won 8-5 and 4-2 to clinch the series victory. Francis Marion pulled away late in the finale to salvage a 12-4 win.
The Hurricanes exit the weekend with a record of 19-28 overall, 12-15 in the Peach Belt, while Francis Marion fell to 25-19, 15-14 in conference play. The 12 conference wins by GSW ties an NCAA era program record for most in a season (2010).
- The Patriots road record dropped to 10-8 this spring, while GSW improved its home record to 10-14.
- Francis Marion leads the all-time series, 26-10.
- Both teams have won six times in the series over the last 12 meetings.
- GSW is 6-12 all-time at home against Francis Marion.
- Tyler Skelton led GSW at the plate over the weekend, going 4-for-10. He was walked three times and hit by a pitch once.
- Jonathan Martin and Jason Baita were the only Hurricanes with multiple extra-base hits. Martin collected two doubles and drove in a team-high four RBIs. Baita belted a triple and a home run over the weekend.
- Tucker Smith made NCAA era program history by earning his eighth win of the season. Smith held the Patriots to an unearned run in opener. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
- A.J. Hayes earned a save and a win in the same day. Hayes pitched a total of seven scoreless innings on Saturday. He scattered three hits, walked nine and struck out two. The Patriots were held to a .143 batting average while Hayes was on the mound.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- GSW scored early and often to jump out to an 8-1 lead in the opener. The Hurricanes pushed across a pair in the first off RBI singles from Jonathan Martin and Andy Moore. They added a run in the second inning and pulled away from the Patriots with a five-run third. Moore was hit by a pitch to kick off the third. Bo Halcomb, Bradley Hough and Matthew Mamatas followed with consecutive singles. Jacob Harrell grounded out to second to bring home a run before Baita delivered the crushing blow, a home run to left field. It was his team-leading fifth blast of the spring.
- Francis Marion made things interesting in the seventh inning. After four runs scored in the frame and FMU was within 8-5, GSW issued a pair of walks to help load the bases before Hayden Martin enticed Alex Griffith to swing at an inning-ending third strike.
- A.J. Hayes worked his way out of trouble in the ninth as Francis Marion loaded the bases with one out, but Hayes forced a pop up and a fly out to end the game.
- Harrell singled home a pair of runs in the second inning of Game 2 and Hunter Foster put GSW out in front 4-0 with his two-run double in the seventh.
- Francis Marion pushed across a run in the eighth, another in the ninth and had runners on second and third with nobody out before Harrison Timberlake worked out of the jam with a ground out, a strikeout and the help of an amazing over-the-shoulder grab by Foster at the wall in dead center field.
- GSW answered a Francis Marion two-run fifth inning with a three-run double by Jonathan Martin to snag its only lead of the afternoon, 3-2, in the finale.
- The Patriots pulled away with three runs in the sixth, four in the seventh and three more in the eighth to salvage a win in the series.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Francis Marion out-hit GSW in the series, 33-27.
- The Hurricanes left 30 runners on base, Francis Marion stranded 28.
- GSW put the leadoff man aboard on 13 of 25 opportunities (.520), Francis Marion was 9-for-27 (.333).
- Hurricane batters were 3-for-27 at the plate (.111) with two outs and 10-for-42 (.238) with an RBI opportunity.
- GSW's favorite inning to score was the third. They pushed across five in that frame over the weekend.
- GSW pitchers walked 16 batters over the series and struck out 15.
- Francis Marion generated six of its runs off Hurricanes starting pitching, 13 of its runs off the bullpen.
- The Hurricanes close out the regular season with a weekend Peach Belt Conference series against UNC Pembroke at Hurricane Stadium starting Saturday at 1 p.m.