ROME — The Albany State baseball team didn’t get a hit Sunday until there were two outs in the eighth inning and lost to host Shorter University, 8-2.
It’s the second time this season the Rams, who are now 1-6 overall, have been swept in a three-game series.
ASU’s lone hit was a single by left fielder Stephen Lightfoot, while Shorter (7-3) racked up 11 hits on the Rams’ pitching staff. Rams ace Ken Nesbitt started and threw seven innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs while striking out four. Walter Roberts threw one inning in relief and surrendered no hits and one walk.
Shorter’s Hunter Smith and Blake McCullers hit homers and Ryan Newell tossed six no-hit innings to lead the Hawks to their fifth win in their last six games.
The Rams benefited from six walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch to score once each in the first and second innings, but were shut out the rest of the way behind the arm of Newell and relievers Bud Fuller and Matt Kirksey.
Smith provided the early offense with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the first that put the Hawks up 3-1.
Shorter exploded for four runs in the fifth thanks to a sacrifice fly from McCullers, an RBI single from Mike Miranda and a two-out, two-run single from Kendall Lacey that plated Kurtis Robinson and Miranda for a 7-2 Shorter advantage.
McCullers added insurance with a solo homer – his first of the season – in the seventh as Shorter enjoyed its first multi-homer game of the season after having just one home run as a team through the first nine games of the year.
ROLLINS TAKES TWO FROM GSW SOFTBALL: Playing the second doubleheader in as many days, the GSW Lady Hurricanes ran out of gas Sunday against the nationally-ranked No. 11 Rollins College Tars.
With temperatures hovering in the low 40s throughout both games, the chill that struck much of Sumter County also reached the GSW bats. The Lady Hurricane offense scored two runs over the course of the two games despite walking ten times. Rollins won the opener, 5-2, and shutout GSW (3-7) in the second game, 6-0.
GSW drew blood first in the opener when second baseman Mason Moreland hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second, but Rollins responded with one run in the third and three more in the fourth.
GSW senior Gabby Buck hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, but the Lady Hurricanes didn’t score again after the Buck bomb.
After mustering just two runs on four hits and seven walks in the opener, GSW had even more trouble in the second game.
The Lady Hurricanes received three free passes from Rollins starting pitcher Amye McIntyre and collected four hits, but would be unable to get a runner home. For much of the game, McIntyre and GSW’s Brittny Dennison, a former star at Lee County and Darton, were locked in a pitcher’s duel.
Both pitchers had scoreless outings going for the first five innings before Rollins’ Veronica Alred knocked in a run. Rollins poured it on in the seventh inning thanks to a grand slam and a home run to cruise to the victory.
WEST ALABAMA EDGES GSW BASEBALL: After dropping two decisions on Saturday by a combined score of 13-7, the Georgia Southwestern baseball team was looking to get one notch on their belt before leaving West Alabama University (3-4). Despite scoring two runs in the opening inning, the Hurricanes were unable to secure the victory as they lost to the Tigers, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon.
Back-to-back RBI by Andrew Archer and Michel Coffey gave GSW an early lead that would last until the third inning when West Alabama tied it up. The Hurricanes retook the lead in the fourth, but West Alabama scored a pair of runs in the final three innings on two GSW errors to get the home sweep.
GSW struck out 33 times and committed nine errors in the series.
The Hurricanes (1-5) have now lost four in a row and are off until Wednesday when they travel to Valdosta State for their final non-conference game before a hefty Peach Belt Conference schedule over the weekend.
The Hurricanes will head northeast for a three-game weekend series with the UNC Pembroke Braves. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday (1 p.m. and 4 p.m.) before ending the series with one game Sunday at 1 p.m.
ASU SOFTBALL POSTPONED: Because of weather concerns Albany State’s softball doubleheader against rival Valdosta State that was originally scheduled for today will be played Wednesday at 1 p.m at ASU.
The Lady Rams are 2-4 and are looking to bounce back from two losses to Rollins College on Friday.