After giving up four runs in the first inning of Game 1, the Wolves (16-8, 5-3 GSC) were able to come back and win thanks to Evan Hester's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, but the same did not happen in the nightcap. Shorter (8-14, 5-3) again jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and West Georgia couldn't climb back in the game this time.
With the way Saturday went, UWG coach Skip Fite felt his team was fortunate to even pull out the split heading into today's rubber match to determine the series victor.
"I think we're lucky to win one [Saturday], to be honest with you," Fite said. "[Shorter] outplayed us all day. If I had to say who had the better team, they looked better than us. Their pitchers battled well and, at times, ours did. We got two or three innings battling, but we made a lot of mistakes pitching [Saturday]."
It didn't take long in the first game for the Wolves to respond, as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first when Hester doubled home Shaquille Jackson, T.J. Eifert scored Dylan Coleman with a single and Galen Smith's RBI single brought home Hester to make it 4-3 after one.
The two teams would trade runs in the third, as UWG got another RBI groundout from Smith.
Then in the sixth inning, Hester came through with the two-out, two-run double down the left-field line, bringing Jackson around for the second time and scoring Tyler Landmon. The bullpen would do the rest, as the Wolves were able to close out the victory.
Starter Chase Riemer settled down after the tough first inning to allow just one more run and only two of the five runs were earned in six innings of work with three walks and five strikeouts. Cody Skinner came in to pitch a scoreless seventh, while Max Aeschlimann came in for the two-inning save.
"Chase wasn't sharp [Saturday]. He just battled through to get where he was. Max threw good to help us and Cody threw good for that one inning," Fite said. "[Riemer] was big because we've only got four or five guys we can use in a weekend that we feel are going to be effective at all. That was big because [Riemer] staying in there and Cody giving us an inning gives us Max [today]."
The second game's start didn't benefit the Wolves, either. The Hawks got a pair of runs in the first and the third to open up another 4-0 lead.
West Georgia did get a pair of comeback attempts, though. In the fourth inning, Smith singled home Hester and then scored on Coleman's RBI double to make it a 4-2 game, but the Hawks would put up three runs in the fifth to push it back out to 7-2.
Again, in the sixth, the Wolves got two runs when Trey Dickson got a pinch-hit RBI double and Smith brought home another run with a single, but the attempt would fall short.
"We had a lot of easy outs. This pitcher was just an OK pitcher for Gulf South, and we were swinging at pitches in the dirt. Just those things. We have to bring better focus [today] and we'll be fine," Fite said.
Hester led the Wolves with a 4-for-8 day at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored, with Smith adding four RBI and a run scored.
"We got a big clutch hit from Evan Hester and then we're able to stop them for three innings," Fite said. "That's huge for us. Without that [production], we're not going to compete at all. Our third and fourth hitters have got to be able to compete."
In today's 1 p.m. game, the Wolves will send Jamie Sexton to the hill, as he goes for his fifth win of the season as they try to take their second GSC series out of three tries this season.
"Jamie's been throwing the ball well, but they saved their best pitcher for the last game, too. We're going to have to hit a lot better, have a better approach [today] than we did [Saturday] to beat those guys," Fite said. "They're good. Their record, I don't think is any indication. They've got a nice team."