The West Georgia baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Shorter on Sunday and improved their record to 22-10 overall. The three wins gave them a 12-9 Gulf South Conference record, good enough for 6th in the conference standings.
UWG ace, senior Brandon Goldsmith, got the start for The Wolves in game 1 on Saturday. The first three innings were scoreless, but UWG broke that trend in the fourth with a run by senior Dalton Rogers.
Junior Caleb Lopes started it off with a single followed by a Dalton Rogers walk. Junior Artemis Kadkhodaian then reached on a fielder’s choice, but a throwing error allowed Rogers to score giving UWG the 1-0 lead.
The Wolves added 3 more runs in the fifth inning. This time, sophomore Ben Utley got things started off by reaching first base on a walk. Utley then stole second base and senior Tyler Hutch singled, putting runners on first and second.
After Caleb Lopes was walked, the bases were loaded. Then, the opposing pitcher, Jacob Farmer, balked. This automatically sent in a run for West Georgia. The score was now 2-0 and UWG had men on third and second base with two outs.
Dalton Rogers was walked, loading the bases again for West Georgia. This time, Artemis Kadkhodaian doubled, leading to a Tyler Hutch and Caleb Lopes run as well as a 4-0 UWG lead.
The sixth inning was scoreless for both teams, but Shorter began threatening to put some runs on the board in the seventh. The Hawks loaded the bases before any outs were recorded. A single then scored the first run of the game for Shorter, making UWG’s lead fall to 4-1.
It seemed as if The Wolves were in a tight spot with the bases loaded and no one out. So, head coach Skip Fite ended Brandon Goldsmith’s day. It ended with him giving up 5 hits, 1 run, and 3 walks. He struck out 2 batters in 6 total innings and threw 97 pitches. Junior Turner Edwards came in for relief of Goldsmith.
The decision paid off as Edwards got UWG out of the jam without allowing any more runs. He got the first batter to hit an infield grounder and West Georgia threw a runner out at home for the first out of the inning. The second out was a popup to second base and the third out was an infield grounder back to the pitcher.
UWG added another run in the bottom of the seventh. It started off by Tyler Hutch getting hit by a pitch, then advancing to second on a groundball. The pitcher then threw a wild pitch that allowed Hutch to advance to third. Dalton Rogers hit a sacrifice fly that eventually scored Hutch for UWG’s last run of the game. The final score was 5-1.
Goldsmith got the win and Edwards got the save for West Georgia. It is the first save of the year for the junior Turner Edwards and it is Goldsmith’s 6th win of the year, giving him a perfect 6-0 record. Edwards ended with 3 innings pitched, giving up 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, and striking out 1 batter.
The Wolves only had 5 hits in this first game, 2 of which came from Artemis Kadkhodaian. Tyler Hutch added a hit and 2 runs. The last 2 hits came from Caleb Lopes and Ben Utley, each with 1.
This win gave UWG a 20-10 record on the year and gave them some momentum heading into the next game of the doubleheader.
Senior Matthew Norton got the start on the mound for The Wolves in this game. This time, Shorter put up the first run of the game. It came in the first inning. West Georgia was held scoreless in the first, giving Shorter a 1-0 lead heading into the second inning.
The Wolves held shorter in the top of the second, then UWG exploded for 9 runs over the course of the next 5 innings. 1 in the second inning, 2 in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, and 5 in the sixth.
The first run was scored by Dalton Rogers as he reached on a walk. He was then driven in from second by freshman Cade Marlowe for the only run of the inning.
The fourth inning again started off with Dalton Rogers getting walked. He then stole second and advanced to third on a senior Garret Hayes single. Sophomore Chase Waters then reached on an error by the short stop, and it allowed Rogers to score from third. Cade Marlow then singled to right center, and this allowed Hayes to score.
The inning was cut short by some good defensive plays by shorter. Chase Waters was thrown out at home and Ben Utley was picked off at first. This moved us to the top of the fifth inning with West Georgia up 3-1.
The next inning started off with Matthew Norton and The Wolves retiring the first three batters they faced. Then, they added another run making the score 4-1.
The next and final at bat for West Georgia proved to be the dagger as they scored 5 runs in the sixth inning. They accomplished this with five hits. Cade Marlowe, Ben Utley, and senior Peyton Mann had singles, Tyler hutch had a double, and Artemis Kadkhodaian had a triple contributing to the 5 scored runs.
These were the final runs of the game and the score ended with UWG on top, 9-1. The series is set in the 9-7-9 total inning format. That is why this second Saturday game had only seven innings.
Matthew Norton pitched all seven innings. He gave up 6 hits, 0 earned runs, and struck out 5 batters. He had 0 walks and threw only 82 pitches. This made his record 3-1 on the year.
The Wolves had 9 hits on the day. This win made their record 21-10 and gave them a 2-0 series lead on Shorter.
The next and final game of the series was played on Sunday, April 3rd. In this game, three different West Georgia pitchers were needed to close out the series with a win.
Junior TJ Watson got the start for West Georgia but only pitched 2 innings. He started the game off with a lead-off walk which eventually turned into a run. Shorter was leading 1-0 after their first at bat.
West Georgia responded quickly as Artemis Kadkhodaian was hit by a pitch. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven home by a Dalton Rogers RBI. UWG stranded one runner on base but tied the game up 1-1 after the first inning.
UWG’s defense held and allowed no one to score, but then so did Shorter’s. The score remained 1-1 heading into the third inning.
Shorter started off the inning with a walk, and then that was followed by a homerun. This made the score 3-1 and was the last pitch for TJ Watson. He finished with 2 innings pitched, giving up 1 hit, 3 runs, and 2 walks. Senior Josh Morgan came in for relief of Watson.
The first batter grounded out, but the second got a single off Josh Morgan. He then struck out the next two batters, making it UWG’s time to bat.
West Georgia scored 2 runs in an unusual fashion. They had no hits and Shorter committed no errors, but they did walk 3 West Georgia batters. Not only that, but a couple of wild pitches allowed UWG to have their way on the base pads. This allowed West Georgia to tie it up 3-3 heading into the fourth inning.
Neither team scored in the fourth and West Georgia held Shorter again in the fifth.
UWG scored 2 more runs in the fifth. It was started by a single from Artemis Kadkhodaian and that was followed by a homerun from Caleb Lopes. This gave him his 29th and 30th RBI of the season, 5th homerun, and put his Wolves up 5-3.
Josh Morgan’s day ended in the seventh inning. He finished with 4.2 innings pitched and gave up only 3 hits, while striking out 5 and walking 4. He threw a total of 89 pitches. Junior Mitchell Mannino came in with 2 outs in the seventh inning.
Mannino ended up completing his 3rd save of the year for UWG as he closed out the game with 2.1 innings pitched. He gave up only 1 hit and struck out 3 batters while walking 0.
West Georgia won the game 5-3 finishing off the series sweep of Shorter. Josh Morgan got the win on the day making his record 3-0.
Gulf South Conference
This win kept UWG in 6th place in the conference standings, which would place them in the Gulf South Tournament if the season ended today.
The top 6 teams make the tournament at the end of the season. As of now, UWG has a conference record of 12-9 while the 7th place Lee Flames have a conference record of 10-9 with a 20-14 overall record.
West Georgia defeated Lee twice earlier in the year in their away series in Cleveland, Tennessee. However, Lee won 1 of the games. Alabama Huntsville is in 5th place with a 14-7 conference record and a 22-13 overall record. Earlier in the year, Alabama Huntsville came to Carrollton and defeated West Georgia in 2 of the 3 games in the series.
UWG has 14 games left, 8 of which are against Gulf South Conference opponents. Last year, the 6th seeded Delta State Statesmen made the tournament with a 15-10 conference record. This means that UWG needs to play very well in these last 8 GSC games in order to seal their spot in the post-season tournament.
West Georgia has been very fond of Cole Field this year as they are 17-4 at home. 7 of their next 14 games are at home, and 4 of the 8 remaining conference games are at home.
With 32 games in the books and 14 games left on the schedule, we’re roughly two-thirds of the way done with the season. Here are some notable statistics to take a look at.
The pitching for West Georgia has been phenomenal this year, as it was predicted to be pre-season.
10 of the 13 pitchers that have seen time this year have even or winning records. Brandon Goldsmith leads the pitching staff with a perfect 6-0 record. His opposing batting average is .232 and he has an ERA of 2.98. Goldsmith has pitched a team leading 60.1 innings and has only given up 51 hits in 220 at bats and struck out 50 while only walking 17 batters. Matthew Norton also has an impressive overall record of 3-1 with 45 innings pitched. His opposing batting average is .274 and he has an ERA of 3.40. He has struck out 34 batters and walked 10. The only other pitcher with over 100 batters faced is Junior Colton Duttweiler. He has a 2-1 overall record with an ERA of 3.45.
The UWG pitchers have an average overall 3.79 ERA and have held the opposing batters to a batting average of .254 on the year. They have also struck out 249 batters. Mitchell Mannino leads all UWG pitchers with 3 saves.
Batting- Minimum 70 at bats
- Average- Caleb Lopes (.395)
- Hits- Caleb Lopes (45)
- Singles- Garrett Hayes (31)
- Doubles- Caleb Lopes, Artemis Kadkhodaian, Tyler Hutch (10)
- Triples- Dalton Rogers (2)
- Homeruns- Tyler Hutch (7)
- RBIs- Dalton Rogers (31)
- At bats- Caleb Lopes, Artemis Kadkhodaian, Garrett Hayes (114)
- Runs- Tyler Hutch (38)
- Stolen Bases- Artemis Kadkhodaian (11)
West Georgia will take on Georgia Southwestern today at 5 PM in Americus, Georgia. This will be the first of a four game road trip and will be the first of the match ups with Georgia Southwestern this year. The next game against The Hurricanes will be on April 26th in Carrollton.
Live Stats for today’s game- CLICK HERE
GSC Standings- CLICK HERE
You can also find my article at Gradick Sports by CLICKING HERE