Despite tying the school record for stolen bases in a game, with 10, the fifth-ranked University of West Alabama baseball team dropped its first contest of the season, 9-6, to Georgia Southwestern on Friday afternoon at Tartt Field.
GSWU (1-3) plated five runs in the first two innings before the Tigers (3-1) dented the scoreboard with three runs in the bottom of the second. Following back-to-back doubles by Tres Avans and Chris Ransburgh, Clint Moody singled to score Avans. Brent Bumgarner hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Ransburgh. The final UWA run in the inning came with a Jeremy Finney single through the right side to score Moody.
The Hurricanes added one in the fifth and two more in the sixth to increase their lead to 8-3. The Red and White plated a run in the seventh when Rob Dahlberg doubled down the left field line to score Jake DeRoy, who had a one out single to right field.
The Tigers narrowed the GSWU lead in the eighth inning, cutting the score to 8-6. Moody led the inning off with a single to right center. One batter later, Phillip Merryman, who was pinch hitting for Jeremy Dorrance, singled to center field. Following a Finney fly out, Merryman and Moody each moved up a base before scoring on a two-out, DeRoy single up the middle. DeRoy advanced on a wild pitch, which was followed by a Dahlberg walk, but a Nick Wheeler fly out ended the inning.
GSWU added one more in the ninth to clinch its first victory of the season.
Four pitchers made appearances on the hill for UWA. Nolan Martz received the loss, throwing two innings. Martz allowed five runs, all earned, on three hits. John Ashley pitched three and two-third innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on four hits with Brian Burgess pitching two and one-third innings with one hit allowed. Jonathan Sherrill finished up the activity on the hill with one inning, allowing one run on two hits.
Hurricane starter Andrew Whiggum pitched four and two-third innings with three earned runs on nine hits, but received no decision, as James Wilson picked up the win. Wilson threw two and one-third innings, allowing one run on two hits. Brandon Reeder was the final hurler for GSWU with two innings pitched, allowing two runs on three hits.
West Alabama returns to action on Saturday, February 9, as the Tigers host Georgia Southwestern in a doubleheader at Tartt Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. The game can be followed via live stats at athletics.uwa.edu.