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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: GSW men's golf cruises to win in spring opener; ASU baseball wins first game of season

GSW freshman and Symnra native Anders Olsson shot a 66 in the final round of the Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate on Tuesday in Fleming Island to finish second overall and lead the Hurricanes to an easy win over the seven-team field.

GSW freshman and Symnra native Anders Olsson shot a 66 in the final round of the Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate on Tuesday in Fleming Island to finish second overall and lead the Hurricanes to an easy win over the seven-team field.

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. — Like any coach will tell you before a season begins, Darcy Donaldson said he thought the sky was the limit for his Georgia Southwestern golf team.

This time, however, it might not just be coach-speak.

Donaldson, the first-year Hurricanes coach who had some big shoes to fill when Andrew Danna — who took the program from relative obscurity to the No. 1 ranking in Division II last year, then left for another job last summer — got the ball rolling in the right direction this week in the team’s spring opener. GSW crushed the seven-team field at the Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate by a whopping 13 strokes.

“It’s definitely good to start like this — for a lot of reasons,” said Donaldson, who took over in October, then had less than two weeks to prepare the team, which responded by finishing no higher than fourth in any of its fall tournaments. “I think the practice and hard work we put between seasons paid off.”

The Hurricanes shot 3-over during the two-day event with three of their five players finishing in the Top 6 individually: Anders Olsson (1-under, 2nd overall), Matt Whittaker (even, 4th) and former Lee County star and Herald Player of the Year Nate Gahman (3-over, 6th).

Olsson said having time for the players to adjust to Donaldson — and likewise — was the difference.

“Everything’s settling in nicely,” said the freshman from Smyrna, who fired the tournament’s low round when he carded a 66 on Tuesday. “It’s an exciting feeling to win and to win like we did.”

GSW’s next tournament will be March in Valdosta.


ASU WINS FIRST GAME OF SEASON:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Albany State baseball team won its first game of the 2013 season Tuesday with a 3-2 win against Edwards Water, then the Rams lost Game 2, 13-3.

In the Game 1 win, the Rams (1-4) got three hits from Jared Arrington. No other stats were available at press time. ASU next plays Friday at Selma University.