Baseball sweeps series against Shorter

Courtesy: UWG Athletics

Three games and three wins last weekend for the Wolves, marking their fifth consecutive series win and improving their season record to 12-4. The team traveled to Rome, GA, to face the Shorter University Hawks on February 28th and 29th.

Taylor Boisclair got the start for game one. The senior pitcher was dominant from the beginning, working six strong innings and not allowing any hits until the bottom of the fourth. Boisclair’s work allowed the Wolves to build an early lead, starting in the third inning. Brody Worthham started the third with a double to right field. Dylan Johnson then reached first on an error, moving Wortham into scoring position. John Michael McRae pushed Wortham over with a ground out RBI.

The pitchers-dual continued until the top of the sixth inning, when the Wolves used Shorter’s struggles in the field to run up the score. McRae and Jason Fointno reached on errors, then Collin Moore scored both with a double to center. Dan Oberst kept the inning going with a base hit, with two more Shorter errors pushing him to third. Justin Hill was hit by a pitch and Jermond Williams was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Hill and Oberst both scored on yet another error on first base, giving the Wolves a 6-0 lead going to the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Hawks narrowed the gap with a ground out advancing a base runner to scoring position.  Another single pushed the runner over, making the score 6-1.  Boisclair continued to work throughout the inning only allowing one more hit before Corey Bartholomew took over in the seventh.  The senior out of Macon, GA, was able to hold the Hawks scoreless for the next two innings, only allowing runs to be put on the board in a late ninth inning rally.

UWG got the ninth inning going with Johnson reaching base after getting hit by a pitch and advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch.  McRae walked, and Brady Barnes singled to right field, advancing all runners.  Moore then walked with the bases loaded, scoring Johnson.  Oberst took to the box and reached on a fielder’s choice RBI scoring McRae with two outs.

Shorter began their late game rally with a single, capitalizing on a wild pitch to get into scoring position. After a homerun, another foul-out ended the inning, leaving the Wolves with an 8-3 victory.

Game two was under way on February 29th.  Robert Coleman took the mound for the Wolves, holding the Hawks while the Wolves put up a solid four run first inning.  McRae and Moore were both hit by pitches and Oberst walked, loading the bases. Jermond Williams, February’s Gulf South Conference Player of the Month, blasted a grand slam after the Hawks changed pitchers.

The Hawks rallied in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of fielding errors by the Wolves, and hitting a grand slam of their own. The game was now sitting tied at 4-4 with Tyler Garner coming in to pitch for Coleman.

The fifth inning was explosive for both teams.  The Wolves broke the short-lived tie in the top of the inning, scoring six runs. Oberst got it started with a double to center field. Joseph Hill reached on an error, Williams and Lane Griffith both walked, scoring Oberst. Johnson loaded the bases again with a walk, followed by McRae belting another grand slam to give the Wolves a 10-4 lead.

Shorter fired back at the bottom of the inning, with two home runs to make it 10-8, after the Wolves sent CJ Fehribach in to take over for Garner. The Hawks left the inning with a tied score yet again, and even took the lead with an RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning.

The Wolves offense would respond quickly.  After a couple hits and some fielding miscues by the Shorter defense to begin the inning, Fointno laced a single up the middle, scoring both Wortham and Griffith. The Wolves would tack on three more runs in the top of the 8th inning. Oberst started it off with a single and would reach second base on a throwing error committed by the third baseman. Williams drove in Oberst making the score 13-11.  Followed up by a few more hits, the Wolves would finish the inning by putting up three runs.

Sawyer Steele was in charge of closing out the final innings for the Wolves with a four run lead heading into the 9th inning. Steele would allow one run in the bottom half of the inning, resulting in a 15-12 victory for the Wolves. 

Ryan Parker, a senior from Acworth, GA, would take the mound for the Wolves for game three of the series. After a relatively quick first two innings, the Wolves offense exploded for five runs in the third. Barnes would start the rally with a leadoff single and the following the two batters reaching base. A wild pitch and another single by Oberst would allow the Wolves to take a 3-0 lead. The Hawks pitchers struggled with command, walking two batters and having a couple wild pitches. The Wolves concluded the inning with a comfortable 5-0 lead.

This was all the cushion Parker needed on the mound as he continued to silence the Hawks each inning. Of the 18 batters Parker faced, only four would reach base. Parker threw a complete game allowing only two hits, two walks and struck out seven batters.

The Wolves broke out for two more runs in the top half of the 5th inning. After loading the bases with no outs, a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly would give the Wolves an 8-0 lead leading into the final inning. Parker would strike out the side in the final inning, while stranding one base runner at first. Parker now possesses a 3-1 record on the season with a 2.96 earned run average, the lowest amongst starters on the Wolves team. 

The Wolves improved their record to 12-4 on the season and 7-2 in conference play, tied for the most wins in the Gulf South Conference so far. They will face the Wingate Bulldogs at Cole field in Carrollton for a two game series. The first game will be played Tuesday at 5 p.m.



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