The UWG baseball team concluded a three game series on Friday with the team losing 0-3
to the University of West Florida. The loss takes West Georgia’s losing streak to four with a
record of 25-11.
The series opened with a double header on April 6 at 1 p.m. with an 8-5 loss in game one,
where a 5-run rally from the Wolves in the sixth was not enough to pull back the game. The
4:30 p.m. first pitch followed with a solo UWG run in the fourth the highlight of game two which
ended 9-1 to UWF.
UWG went into the following April 7 conclusion aiming to end the series on a high. Carson
Crossley took the mound to start the game and struggled for control from first pitch walking
the first batter he faced before a single line drive put runners on first and second. A sacrifice
bunt from UWF’s Dean Hotz advanced the runners to second and first but gave Crossley his
first out of the inning. A full-count walk on the next batter would load the bases, however,
leaving the UWG pitcher with work to do on order to keep the game scoreless. A mound
seemed to calm the pitcher down, as Crossley struck out the next two batters he faced to end
the inning with the bases loaded.
The second inning seemed to bring much of the same for the UWG pitcher, with a groundball
and a flyout sitting down the first two UWF batters. The third out proved harder, however,
with three consecutive walks loading the bases, and a fourth walk on a hit-by-pitch seeing
Crossley’s afternoon come to an end after walking in the run. Turning to the bullpen, UWG
brought out Ryan Whitener to limit the damage, with a flyout to left ending the inning with
three left on.
The top of the third saw UWF get its second run. After a drive to left field for a single from
Jadon Fryman and a sacrifice bunt from Jackson Grabsky to put him on second, a Mike
Scordo flyout to right gave the runner time to get on third. A single from Jacob Bailey scored
the run, before a strikeout on the next batter limited the damage for the inning.
After a bright start in the first saw two runners get on, the UWG offense had been shut down
by UWF’s Major Posey, who would go on to pitch seven scoreless innings, striking out four
in the process. UWG’s Cooper Prince proved a highlight for the Wolves, earning two walks
and a hit, finishing the game .500 for the afternoon. UWG will be hoping to reignite
their batting from the rather anemic showing on the afternoon, failing to capitalize with
runners on base in the sixth leaving Cade Hohl on third with a run that could have brought the
game back to one run.
The following inning UWF would put some space between the sides with a third run,
courtesy of a walk, fielders choice, and a wild pitch to put Darrien McDowell on third base.
The following drive down the third base line saw the runs score and UWG make its second
pitching change of the afternoon, with Ezra Brown coming in. Brown would strike out the
first batter he faced, before inducing a flyball to end the inning.
It was the bottom of the seventh that UWG had its greatest opportunity to turn the game on its
head, loading the bases with a 2-out walk, bringing Cade Hohl to the plate with potential to
cut into the deficit. Unfortunately Hohl’s flyball to center-left was caught by the West Florida defense, and left UWG trailing by three runs going into the eighth inning. The top of
the eighth was reminiscent of the second, with the UWG pitcher retiring the first two batters, but
struggling to secure the third out. After a full count walk and a hit-by-pitch to put runners on
first and second, UWG saw more bullpen action, with Bay Witcher coming in to finish the
game. A wild pitch against the first batter Witcher faced would advance the runners to second
and first, before a walk would load the bases again. Fortunately for the Wolves, Witcher
would strike out the next batter to end the inning with three on.
The bottom of the eighth saw UWF turn to the bullpen for the first time, bringing in Salvatore
Ferro to close the game. The new pitcher would earn a 1, 2, 3 inning to keep UWG 3-0 down
heading into the final inning. The Wolves sat down the first batter in the ninth, before an
infield hit to third on a difficult play put a runner on first. A groundout to short on a hit and
run put a runner on second with 2 outs, before another wild pitch advanced him to third. The
runner would be left there, however, with Witcher fanning the fourth batter he faced in the
inning to bring the UWG bats up for the final stretch.
The first two outs in the bottom of the ninth game looked to be followed by a third when Cooper
Prince hit a groundball to second, but the UWG batter showed some impressive speed to beat
the defense on the run. Jackson Webb would earn a two-out walk to bring Joseph Glozier to
the plate as the potential tying run. A flyout to short ended UWG’s flicker of hope, however,
ending the tie.
“We have to a better job when we have runners in scoring position or bases loaded, we left
guys on base today; quite a few,” says UWG Head Coach, Jeff Smith. “This
is the first hiccup in the season, and I expect that come Monday we’ll be back at work.”
“West Florida’s a real good team, they pitched well, they executed their game plan,” says Smith. “I thought we pitched a lot better today than we did the first two games.”
UWG can look forward to an opportunity to get back to winning ways in the midweek with a trip to Emmanuel College on April 11, before another GSC series at Shorter beginning on Friday.
“There’s gonna be bumps in the road and we have to deal with those,” says Smith. “We have
to be able to bounce back, our guys will be good at that.”
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