ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The eighth-seeded Georgia Southwestern State University baseball team saw its memorable run in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament fall a tiebreaker short of a championship game appearance after knocking off the top seed North Georgia, 4-2, on Friday morning and the fifth seed Georgia College, 9-2, in the first game Saturday morning. GSW ran out of steam in a 14-4 loss to Young Harris immediately following the emotional win over Georgia College and Young Harris went on to match GSW with a 2-1 record in pool play after wrapping up a game with North Georgia late Saturday night to secure a berth in Sunday's championship game. Young Harris advanced by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker over GSW.
The Hurricanes finish their season with a record of 23-30 overall.
- The Hurricanes two postseason wins matches the program's NCAA era record set in 2010.
- The Hurricanes 14 regular season Peach Belt Conference wins is a program high.
- GSW was a unanimous choice to finish in last place this season in the preseason Peach Belt coaches poll.
- GSW entered the tournament 11-54 (.169) against its first two scheduled opponents since joining the NCAA. The Hurricanes were 4-28 against North Georgia and 7-26 against Georgia College.
- North Georgia was ranked as high as No. 16 in the country (April 16) and Georgia College reached No. 15 (Feb. 26) in the NCBWA NCAA Division II Top 25 poll this spring.
- The postseason wins over North Georgia and Georgia College were the first in program history.
- After dropping 15 consecutive games to North Georgia, the Hurricanes have won the last two.
- GSW had lost 15 of its last 16 games against Georgia College heading into the weekend.
- Jason Baita led GSW at the plate over the weekend, going 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles, a walk and four RBIs from the leadoff position.
- Jacob Harrell found a way to get on base throughout the tournament. The Hurricanes catcher was 3-for-7 (.429) with five walks for an on-base percentage of .667. Harrell drove in the game-winning run against Georgia College.
- The 2019 PBC Pitcher of the Year Tucker Smith did not disappoint. Smith settled in after surrendering a pair of runs in the first against the top seed UNG and threw eight consecutive shutout innings for his sixth complete game of the season. He walked two and struck out six for his ninth win of the spring, a GSW NCAA era program record.
- Cole Garrett entered the Georgia College game in the fourth inning and closed it out for the win by holding the Bobcats to one run the rest of the way, a solo home run to the first batter he faced. Garrett followed by scattering four hits, walking two and striking out four.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- North Georgia strung together four singles in the first inning and scored their only two runs of the opener to take the early lead on Friday.
- GSW tied the game in the third with an RBI triple to center field by Jonathan Martin and an RBI single up the middle from Hunter Foster.
- The Hurricanes left two runners on base in the first, two in the fourth, another pair on in the fifth and three in the sixth before breaking through for the game-winning runs in the seventh inning. Bo Halcomb dropped a bunt single down the third base line, Bradley Hough singled through the left side, Matthew Mamatas was hit by a pitch and the Hurrcanes capitalized on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
- Smith retired the side in order in the fourth, seventh and ninth innings and finished with 148 pitches, 106 for strikes.
- On Saturday, Baita collected four hits against Georgia College, including a single that drove in the first run of the game and gave the Hurricanes an early 1-0 lead.
- Georgia College answered in the bottom half of the third, sparked by a leadoff double.
- A solo home run to open the fourth gave Georgia College its only lead of the morning.
- GSW rallied in the eighth inning. Tyler Skelton singled, Martin was hit by a pitch and Andy Moore delivered the two-out single to right-center field to tie the game at 2-2.
- The Hurricanes erupted for seven runs and five hits in the ninth. Halcomb opened the frame with a leadoff walk. Hough laid a bunt down the third base line for a single. Mamatas walked to load the bases and Harrell delivered what would prove to be the game-winning hit, a single through the left side of a drawn in infield, past the third baseman diving to his left. Baita followed with an RBI single to center field. Martin added a two-run double down the right field line.
- Young Harris built a 7-0 lead by the fourth inning in the Hurricanes second game of the day on Saturday.
- GSW attempted to mount a comeback in the fifth with three runs after opening the frame with a single from Mamatas, a single from Harrell and an RBI double by Baita.
- Young Harris put the game out of reach late. The Mountain Lions scored five runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth to go up, 14-3.
- GSW scored its final run of the season in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single to left field by Skelton.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Opponents out-hit GSW in the tournament, 33-29.
- The Hurricanes left 27 runners on base, opponents stranded 25.
- GSW put the leadoff man aboard on 11 of 27 opportunities (.407), opponents matched the Hurricanes at 11-for-27.
- Hurricane batters were 7-for-31 at the plate (.226) with two outs and 10-for-33 (.303) with an RBI opportunity.
- GSW's favorite inning to score was the ninth. They pushed across eight in that frame over the weekend.
- GSW pitchers walked 11 batters during the tournament and struck out 15.
- Opponents generated seven of their runs off Hurricanes starting pitching (13 IP), 11 of their runs off the bullpen (14 IP).
- The 2020 season with the schedule to be released later this summer.