Feb. 4, 2009
Rome, Ga. - The Shorter College Hawks baseball team opened their season in style on Wednesday afternoon, scoring six eighth-inning runs to come from behind to beat the University of West Georgia Wolves, 8-4, at Shorter's Robert H. Ledbetter Complex. The game was originally scheduled for Monday, but was postponed due to weather.
"We needed to play this week to see where we were in the season, and I'm glad we were able to get the game in today," said head coach Matt Larry. "We waited until late to start hitting, but I'm glad these guys pulled it together in the end."
After a scoreless three innings to open the game, West Georgia (0-1) got on the board first in the fourth inning on a BJ Smith RBI single through the hole at shortstop.
After a three-run seventh inning for the Wolves, Shorter used the next two innings to show their strength. In the bottom of the seventh, Matt Johnson came around to home for his first run of the game on an Adam Pilate single to cut West Georgia's lead to two.
Langley started things out for the Hawks (1-0) in the bottom of the eighth. After he walked, he advanced to second on a balk by the pitcher. Will Davis was then hit-by-pitch, and a Shannon Houston walk loaded the bases with no outs. Johnson then set things in motion, as he doubled down the right field line, bringing around Langley and Davis to tie the game at four-all.
"I was sitting on a fast ball and he threw it," said Johnson, about his game-tying it. "I knew I had to put a good swing on it and luckily it carried far enough."
An RBI single from David Hornback gave Shorter the lead at 5-4, followed by a two-RBI single from Pilate and a bobble from the Wolves' pitcher put the game out of reach as the Hawks won 8-4.
"This is the first opener we have won since I've been here," added Johnson, who finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. "It is a big step for this team and I'm excited about where we're headed this season."
Hornback finished the game 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, and Pilate was 2-for-3 with a run and three RBIs.
Blake Chapman started the game for Shorter, pitching four innings, giving up six hits, one earned run and striking out three, and Matt Kirksey pitched in relief for three innings. Seth Hollingsworth pitched the eighth inning, giving up no hits, and earned the win (1-0). JP Griffin closed the ninth with a two-hit inning.
Preston Lowther (0-1) got the loss for West Georgia.
Shorter travels to Savannah, Ga., this weekend for a doubleheader against Savannah College of A.D., on Saturday at 1 p.m. After a trip to USC-Beaufort next week, they return to the Ledbetter Complex on Feb. 13-14 for a three-game series against nationally-ranked University of the Cumberlands (Ky.).