LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Manos’ walkoff HR lifts Darton baseball past Delgado

Darton's Kevin Manos smacked two home runs Saturday for the Cavs in a win against Delgado, which was followed by a loss to Pensacola State.

Darton's Kevin Manos smacked two home runs Saturday for the Cavs in a win against Delgado, which was followed by a loss to Pensacola State.

PENSACOLA, Fla. — In nearly 50 games and 150 at-bats last season, Darton’s Kevin Manos didn’t hit a single home run.

On Saturday, the sophomore outfielder had a day that Cavs coach Scott Hemmings said a player can only “dream of” when he belted two home runs, including a 3-run walk-off shot to lead Darton to a 7-6 win against Delgado.

“That’s a day Kevin will remember for the rest of his life,” Hemmings said. “It’s just what you dream of as a player. He had a great day, and he has been nothing but a spark plug for us.”

Darton followed up its come-from-behind win against Delgado with a 15-3 loss to Pensacola State, but Hemmings said the blowout loss didn’t take away from what his team has accomplished in the opening weeks of the season.

“I talked to several coaches about our schedule before the season, and they said we would be 0-7 in this (tough) stretch, and we are 4-2 going into (today’s game) against Gulf Coast,” Hemmings said. “I’m proud of where we are. We have played the toughest schedule in the conference, and we have played well and are sitting at 8-5 right now.”

Darton trailed 6-4 going into the bottom of the seventh against Delgado before Manos hit a three-run shot to right-center field — the exact same place he belted a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Lee County native Matthew Aldrich (3-0) got the win after pitching all seven innings and striking out seven.

In the second game, starter Shawn Thomas got the loss, while relievers Andrew Crumbley, Jordan Villhauer, Harrison McElheney and Steven Williams also struggled on the mound.

Stephen Farris was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Manos was 1-for-2 with two RBI.

LADY CAVS CRUISE: Katy Jordan pitched another gem, and Darton’s bats stayed hot Saturday in Douglas, where the Lady Cavs improved to 16-1 with a two-game sweep of South Georgia.

In the opener, Jordan threw a complete game and allowed just one hit to lead the Lady Cavs to a 5-2 win. Jordan, who is leading the nation with 106 strikeouts, racked up 12 more in the first game. The only runs she allowed were in the fourth inning when she walked a hitter and then gave up a rare home run.

The Lady Cavs, who quickly retook the lead in the next inning, were led at the plate by Amanda Jaskolski and Chantelle Curinton, who were each 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Freshman Jenny Willis pitched 5.1 innings and had five strikeouts in the second game, which Darton won, 12-6.

At the plate, Chelsea Showers was 4-for-5 with a triple, three runs and three RBI; Jessica Vason was 3-for-5 with two RBI; Kelsea Ogletree was 2-for-4 with two RBI; and Erica Vasquez was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI.

The Lady Cavs play again Tuesday at Enterprise (Ala.) and then are at home Friday against Wallace Dothan.

DARTON WRESTLERS HAVE LITTLE LUCK AT NATIONALS: First-year coach Chris Fleeger had high hopes for his six wrestlers making the trip this weekend for the NJCAA national championships.

Three of the Cavs won first-round matches, but none went further than that in the tournament, which began Friday and wrapped up late Saturday in Rochester, Minn.

Ryan DeVita (125 pounds), Cole Claar (141) and Trey Hicks (184) won their opening matches before falling in their second-round matches and dropping to the loser’s bracket, where all three went 1-1. Hicks, Darton’s captain and top-rated wrestler, was defeated in the second round by Clackamas Community College’s Austin Morehead, who finished second in the 184 division.

Darton’s Dametres Ellis (133), Terry Harris (149) and Raheem Hill (174) all finished 0-2 in the tournament.

LADY RAMS SWEEP CLARK ATLANTA: The Albany State softball team started its conference schedule off with a bang Saturday by sweeping Clark Atlanta, 8-0, and 7-6.

The Lady Rams (4-10) cruised past the Lady Panthers in the opener thanks to a complete-game shut out from Chelsea Hicks, who struck out eight and allowed just three hits. Chaconna Marks and former Bainbridge star Vanessa Jones led ASU at the plate in the six-inning game. Marks was 2-for-3, and Jones was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and two RBI.

ASU came from behind in the second game after trailing, 6-2, in the fourth inning. The Lady Rams, who scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good, were led by Shaywona Marks and Chelsea Hicks at the plate. Marks was 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI, and Hicks, who also picked up the win on the mound, was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Lady Rams will play again March 6 at Columbus State University.

LADY HURRICANES LOSE HOOPS FINALE: To the victors go the spoils, which defined Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes and the Columbus State Lady Cougars. The winner would secure second place in the Peach Belt Conference West Division and the last higher seed available for the PBC Tournament. The Lady ‘Canes (18-8, 10-7 PBC) were unable to capture those spoils as they dropped the game, 64-54.

Junior forward Adrian Randall was the only Lady Hurricane to score in double figures. The native of Brooklyn scored 15 points and grabbed nine points in the losing effort.

GSW, which finished the regular season with records of 18-8 overall and 10-7 in conference action, set a program record for the most regular-season wins in the NCAA Division II era.

The Lady Hurricanes will play in the first round of the PBC Tournament against Lander University on Thursday at Columbus State University.

GSW MEN LIMP HOME: Missing four starters and five of the 13 players from its opening-day roster, the Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball team was no match for Columbus State on Saturday afternoon and lost the season finale, 84-64.

The Hurricanes, who had already lost 2011 PBC Player of the Year Phillip Brown to a meniscus injury, added starter Milos Kleut to the growing list of unavailable players for the CSU game when he suffered a foot injury Wednesday against Georgia College.

Southwestern finished the 2011-12 campaign with a record of 12-14 overall and 3-14 in PBC play.

GSW SOFTBALL TAKES TWO FROM FVSU: The Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes were supposed to take on the Fort Valley State Lady Wildcats on Friday but were postponed due to inclement weather. While the double header may have had to wait 24 hours, Rachel McElroy didn’t wait as she had a career day batting four of six with six RBI en route to the sweep of FVSU on Saturday afternoon, 9-0 and 4-2.

The pair of wins pushes the Georgia Southwestern record to 7-9 overall. Next in line for the Lady Hurricanes is West Georgia. The two teams will make-up their rain out from earlier in the week on Tuesday.