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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Cavs win another comeback thriller; ASU baseball falls in opener

Brandon Sharpe helped lead the Darton baseball team on Friday to another comeback win.

Brandon Sharpe helped lead the Darton baseball team on Friday to another comeback win.

NICEVILLE — For the second game in a row, former Crisp County star pitcher Davis Adkins played hero for the Darton baseball team.

Cavs freshman Brandon Sharpe got in on the act, too.

Adkins pitched lights out in the final three innings Friday, and Sharpe hit a two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth to cap a five-run rally and send Darton to a thrilling 7-6 victory against Northwest Florida State.

The win came three days after Darton overcame a 7-1 deficit to rally past Southern Union, 11-10.

“These last two games have been games where you just throw the stats out the window and just worry about getting the win,” said Darton coach Scot Hemmings, whose Cavs had to overcome 10 walks and three errors. “At the end of the day they just played hard and found a way to win.”

Darton entered the ninth inning trailing, 6-2, but got a leadoff single from Riliani Familia to spark the rally. The Cavs loaded the bases with two outs and then got an RBI single from Davis Knapp, a two-run double from Nate Ferrell and a two-run single from Sharpe on a 1-2 count that skidded between the first and second basemen and scored Knapp and Ferrell to put Darton ahead by one run.

Adkins, who had the save in Tuesday’s win against Southern Union, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to complete the comeback. Adkins, the rising star for the Cavs, entered the game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out, limited Northwest Florida to two runs and then was nearly perfect in the eighth and ninth innings.

“We went and saw him late last year (at Crisp County) and knew he would be great for us,” Hemmings said. “He comes in and never gets rattled. He can throw an unbelievable slider for a strike anytime in the count and is a huge part of our plan and our program right now.”

Darton was led at the plate by Knapp (4-for-5, RBI), Ferrell (2-for-5, 3 RBI, 2B), Familia (2-for-4, 2 R) and Casey James (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI).

The Cavs, who are 6-2 overall and winners of four in a row, play again today at Northwest Florida in a doubleheader.

ASU baseball holds own vs. Florida power Nova SE in 2013 season opener before losing, 5-1

FORT LAUDERDALE — A.J. Hart kept the Albany State baseball team close in Friday’s season opener, but it wasn’t enough against No. 19 Nova Southeastern (Fla.) University, which pulled away late for a 5-1 victory.

Hart, a left-handed freshman pitcher from Kennesaw, held the host Sharks to three runs in his seven innings of work, but reliever Damarkus Green surrendered two more in the bottom of the eighth, and ASU’s bats didn’t have enough pop to spark a comeback.

“If we get some hits, we definitely win that game,” ASU coach Kenyan Conner said. “We needed to play from ahead instead of behind. All we needed was to take that lead, but we never did.”

The Rams got just six hits against a Nova Southeastern pitching staff that was already playing its fourth game of the season.

Hart allowed five hits, two earned runs and two walks and struck out six in his collegiate debut.

“He had his stuff working,” Conner said. “He kept them off balance and hit his spots. He started out ahead in the count and executed pitches when he had to. He is a guy that if he pitches like that he will be at the top of the rotation.”

The Rams had their chances but left runners stranded in scoring position in three innings, committed a costly error that led to a Nova Southeastern run and failed to execute on several bunt attempts.

No ASU hitter had more than one hit, and Allen Hardy had the Rams’ lone RBI — a single in the fourth inning that scored former Westover star Kerry Hall.

Westover grad Jacob Campbell, Kareem Hayes, Robert Latner and Hall also had hits, and Hardy had two stolen bases.

“If I would have had the heart of my lineup hitting then it would have been different,” Conner said. “If you want to be a good team then you have to make some adjustments and come back (today).”

Freshman Trevor Billings will start today’s opener against Nova Southeastern, while junior Clifford Peterson will pitch the nightcap.

Lady Rams softball swept by No. 13 nationally ranked Rollins

ALBANY — After starting the season 2-0 with a sweep of Thomas University’s junior varsity team, the Albany State softball team has lost four in a row.

The Lady Rams’ latest losses came Friday afternoon in a doubleheader against No. 13 Rollins College, which edged the Lady Rams 3-0 in the opener and then easily won the nightcap, 7-1.

The Lady Rams, who were also swept by Georgia Southwestern on Wednesday, played with Rollins in the opener thanks to ASU freshman pitcher Ambrionna Atkism, who limited Rollins to just one run in the first six innings.

However, Rollins (8-0) plated two runs in the seventh and the Lady Rams just had three hits in the loss.

Atkism allowed eight hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked just two, while Chelsea Hicks, Shelby Gale and former Bainbridge star Vanessa Jones all got singles.

In the second game, Rollins jumped ahead 1-0 in the third inning and then pulled away with three runs in the fourth inning as Hicks picked up the loss, throwing all seven inning and allowing nine hits and six earned runs.

Gale was 3-for-3 to lead ASU at the plate and hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Lady Rams play again Monday afternoon at home against defending national champion Valdosta State in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

GSW men’s hoops picks up key conference win; Lady Hurricanes lose 10th straight

AMERICUS — Sometimes, it’s just your night.

It was one of those nights for the Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball team as the Hurricanes defeated Columbus State, 96-66, in the Storm Dome behind 59 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Matt Shaw led the barrage with 27 points. Shaw was outstanding as he connected on 9 of 17 shots — including 6 of 7 from beyond the arc — made all three of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.

GSW has won three in a row and improved to 10-11 overall and 6-8 in the Peach Belt Conference with the PBC tournament fast approaching.

GSW led by 14 points on three separate occasions before settling on a 39-27 advantage at halftime. The Hurricanes improved to 8-3 this season when leading after 20 minutes of play.

GSW wasted no time jumping on the Cougars in the second period, utilizing a 17-2 run over the opening four minutes to blow the game open. The Hurricanes connected on their first six shots of the second half and made their first four 3-point baskets.

CSU would get no closer than 24 the rest of the way.

A jumper by Jamon Hawkins with 4:16 left gave GSW its largest lead of the game — 36 points — at 87-51.

Hawkins had a tremendous night from the floor as well, pouring in 22 points after connecting on 7 of 12 shots, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. Daryl Davis posted his first double-double of the season after scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Reigning PBC Player of the Week Alan Arnett chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds, and Michael Tankersley added 11 points and four steals.

Miller led CSU with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jahmad Saleem added 10 points.

The Hurricanes return to action today with a 7:30 p.m. contest against Georgia College in the Storm Dome.

COLUMBUS STATE WOMEN 79, GSW 61: It was a tale of two halves for the GSW women, who stretched their losing streak to 10 games.

GSW sophomore guard Kayla Dayton scored seven quick points as the Lady ’Canes raced to a 13-5 lead five minutes into the contest.

Southwestern held the lead for the majority of the first half, but the Lady Cougars slowly fought back and and took the lead, 33-32, with just above a minute remaining in the half.

It was downhill from there.

Dayton led GSW (3-18, 1-13 PBC) with 14 points, while junior forward Ottishia Burden came off the bench to chip in a career-high 10 points.

Southwestern’s leading scorer Jasmine McSwain was held to only five points on the evening, but the freshman forward contributed a game-high six steals in a contest that saw a combined 56 turnovers between the two teams.

GSW will be back in action today at home against Georgia College at 5:30 p.m.