Written February 9th, Posted February 16th
After pounding Emmanuel 17-0, UWG had a 3-game series vs Pfeiffer the following weekend.
Two of the games were played Saturday, and one was played on Sunday. The Pfeiffer Falcons came into the game with a 1-2 record. They won 1 and dropped 2 in their opening series vs Mars Hill. They hit a combined .283 during the series, and had a combined 2.16 ERA.
1st Game of Series
UWG’s ace, senior Matthew Norton, got the start again in the opening game vs Pfeiffer. The bottom of the second inning is when the first run was scored for either team. Junior Drew Eady singled to right field and that scored senior Garrett Hayes, who was on base by getting walked in his 1st at bat. This gave UWG a 1-0 lead.
Pfeiffer would respond by getting 4 hits in the top of the third inning, which resulted in 3 runs scoring. Norton was pulled mid-inning, as sophomore Joe Vonderschmidt came in for relief. He first walked in a run and then got the Pfeiffer hitter to ground into a 4-6-3 double play (scoring for double plays can be found here). Junior transfer Caleb Lopes threw a bullet to senior Dalton Rogers at 1st after he received the toss from junior Artemis Kadkhodaian. The top of the third ended with UWG down, 3-1.
West Georgia could not get the bats going in their turn during the third inning, and the two teams went into the 4th inning with the same score, 3-1.
A new pitcher started this inning for UWG, junior Ryan Sapp. Pfeiffer got a hit in the top of the 4th inning, but did not capitalize. West Georgia then scored their next run in the 4th as Dalton Rogers was walked and then reach second base on a wild pitch. Caleb Lopes then came in and doubled, scoring Rogers. This would be the only action of the inning for UWG, as the ended the inning leaving 2 runners on base. The score was now 3-2 in favor of Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer did the same thing in the fifth as they did in the fourth, getting one hit and then stranding the runner on base. UWG would score another run in the fifth. Senior Tyler Hutch hit his second homerun of the year, a solo shot. This tied the game up at 3 heading into the 6th inning.
The 6th inning had the potential to be catastrophic for both teams. Pfeiffer got 1 hit, 1 error from UWG, and ended leaving 3 men on base. West Georgia did the same in their at bat. They got 1 hit, Pfeiffer made an error, and they ended the inning with the bases loaded.
The score was still 3-3 heading into the 7th inning. In this inning, Pfeiffer got their first run since the top of the third. Junior Turner Edwards started this inning on the mound for UWG. Pfeiffer had 2 hits and left 2 on base, but were able to get 1 run in. Edward’s was able to get two outs during this inning, but junior pitcher Mitchell Mannino’s assistance was needed for the last out. After Mannino recorded the pop out, the score was 4-3 with Pfeiffer on top heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.
West Georgia got some more help from Pfeiffer in their turn at bat in the 7th. Tyler Hutch reached on an error by the third baseman, and ended up on third from a wild pitch and a ground ball by Kadkhodaian. Dalton Rogers then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, which scored Tyler Hutch. This tied the game at 4 heading into the top of the 8th.
Pfeiffer did not score a run in the 8th inning, giving UWG the chance to take the lead by scoring just 1 run. It only took 4 UWG batters to get to the 9th inning, as junior Drew Eady struck out, sophomore Ben Utley grounded out, sophomore Chase Waters singled, and then Tyler Hutch grounded out. The score was 4-4 heading into the final inning.
One could tell UWG was hungry for a victory by watching them in the field during the ninth inning. They faced only 3 batters, and none of them reached base. This set up West Georgia for a walk-off opportunity in the bottom of the 9th.
Artemis Kadkhodaian started the inning with a double to left center, and then Dalton Rogers came in and singled to center. This scored Kadkhodaian from second, ending the game in walk-off fashion. West Georgia had won the first game of their doubleheader, 5-4.
Mitchell Mannino is credited with the win for UWG. He pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 0 hits. He struck out 2 and walked 1. Most importantly, he performed in crunch time for West Georgia.
This win gave UWG a 2-0 record on the year. The day was not over, though. A whole other game was to be played.
2nd Game of Series
The second game of UWG vs Pfeiffer was played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first. This game would be shortened and would only feature 7 innings. When teams have a 3-game series, they are usually set up in the 9-7-9 inning format. This keeps the players from getting too exhausted in the second game.
Junior TJ Watson got the start for West Georgia. Scoring was started in the second inning as Pfeiffer got two hits. A double followed by a single scored the run, but the UWG defense stiffened and TJ Watson struck out a Pfeiffer batter to end the inning. 3 Pfeiffer runners were left on base.
UWG responded in the bottom of the second with 3 hits. Garrett Hayes singled, Caleb Lopes singled and freshman Cade Marlowe singled all in the inning, but only Hayes scored. This made the score 1-1 heading into the 3rd.
Neither team scored in the 3rd inning, which gave us a 1-1 tie heading into the 4th as well. UWG made 2 errors in the 4th under their new pitcher senior Josh Morgan, but did not give up a hit or a run.
West Georgia then had their turn to bat, and capitalized as they have all year. 2 hits scored 2 runs as Hayes led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Caleb Lopes then advanced Hayes to second on a fielder’s choice, which gave the Falcons their first out of the inning. Drew Eady then singled which scored Hayes from second base. Eady then advanced to second and was eventually knocked in by a Ben Utley single. This ended the scoring for the inning, giving UWG the 4-2 lead heading into the 5th.
Pfeiffer was able to score 1 run in the 5th. Josh Morgan walked 1 batter, then through a wild pitch, advancing the runner to second. He then struck out a batter, but walked another right after. This was the end of the day for him. Joe Vonderschmidt came in to pitch the final 2.2 innings for West Georgia.
The two errors took place after Vonderschmidt took the mound and it resulted in the Pfeiffer run. This made the score 4-3. Vonderschmidt then struck out a batter and got another to fly out, making it UWG’s turn to bat.
West Georgia got one hit in this inning, a single from Artemis Kadkhodaian. No runs were scored though, and the two teams went into the 6th inning with UWG still up 4-3.
Pfeiffer could not get anything going against Vonderschmidt in the 6th. He got the first batter to ground out, and then the next 2 struck out. This led us to the last at bat for UWG.
Caleb Lopes doubled to right center to start the inning, but eventually was stranded on base. The score was 4-3 heading into the final at bat for Pfeiffer.
Vonderschmidt was still on the mound for UWG in the final inning. The first batter singled, but then was thrown out at second on the next play. This play was a fielder’s choice, so one runner was still on first. This runner then tried to steal second, but was thrown out by junior catcher Payton Mann.
This left West Georgia one out away from a doubleheader sweep of Pfeiffer, and a 2 game edge in the series. The last batter was struck out swinging by Vonderschmidt, which ended the game and made UWG a perfect 3-0 on the year.
Josh Morgan got the win for West Georgia. He finished his day with 1.1 innings pitched giving up no earned runs and allowing no hits. He struck out 2 of the 7 batters he faced. Vonderschmidt, who came in for relief of Morgan, finished pitching 2.2 innings and allowing only one hit. He gave up no runs and struck out 4 of the 8 batters he faced.
3rd Game of Series
There was now only 1 game left in the series, a 1 PM Sunday game. Senior Brandon Goldsmith got the start for West Georgia in this final game of the series. As I mentioned in the previous article, Brandon Goldsmith has the potential to be an excellent pitcher this year. That potential was on full display in this game as he pitched 6 innings and allowed only 2 hits and gave up 0 runs. He struck out 3 batters and walked none. Goldsmith threw 76 pitches, the most in a single game for UWG so far this season.
West Georgia didn’t get on the board until the 4th inning. Dalton Rogers got hit by a pitch to start the inning, and then he stole second. Then, a combination of batters hit by a pitch, a Caleb Lopes Single, and a walk scored Rogers, making it 1-0. The Wolves ended the inning leaving 3 on base.
Pfeiffer then stranded 1 runner of their own on base, and did not score a run in the 5th. This was the inning that West Georgia came alive, though. 8 hits scored 7 runs for West Georgia in this inning, started off by 2 doubles from Tyler Hutch and Artemis Kadkhodaian. This was followed by a single by Dalton Rogers and a single from Caleb Lopes. 4 hits and 5 runs later, UWG was up 8-0 heading into the 6th inning. UWG eliminated the first three Pfeiffer batters in the 6th, but would not score another run until the 7th.
In each of the last 3 innings, Pfeiffer faced a new UWG pitcher. They were only able to manage one hit off these three guys. Senior Ethan Hunter pitched the 7th, sophomore Dalton Reagin pitched the 8th, and senior Tyler Gunnin pitched the 9th.
West Georgia scored 2 in the 7th and 2 in the 8th which gave them a 12-0 victory and series sweep over Pfeiffer. Goldsmith got the win for West Georgia in this final game. This win gave UWG a 4-0 record on the year, and is sure to move them up in the latest D2baseballnews.com poll.
Artemis Kadkhoaian went an impressive 5-of-12 in the Pfeiffer series and is 7-of-16 on the year with 2 walks and 4 RBIs. He has scored 6 runs this year, good enough for second best on the team, behind Tyler Hutch with 8. Tyler Hutch is 5-of-16 on the year with 2 walks, 2 homeruns, and 3 RBIs. Garret Hayes is 4-of-11 on the year with 5 runs scored and 3 walks. Caleb Lopes is 8-of-15 on the year with 4 runs scored.
West Georgia and 5 other Gulf South Conference teams are undefeated after the first two weekends of play. UWG does not start GSC play until February 20th in a 2-game series on the road against North Alabama. Here is a link to the Gulf South Conference standings.
West Georgia’s pitching staff has been phenomenal on the year. They have only given up a combined 20 hits (11 came in the 1st game vs Pfeiffer) in 4 games. They have struck out 34 batters compared to only walking 15 batters and have only allowed 6 runs to score. Matthew Norton has 2 starts on the year, and has 1 win under his belt. Mannino, Goldsmith, and Morgan have the other 3 wins on the year. Goldsmith has thrown more pitches than anyone else with 128, and Norton is right behind him with 99.
UWG’s game set for tomorrow, February 10th @ Young Harris has been postponed to April 19th due to wintry weather conditions in the North Georgia area. UWG’s next game will be Saturday, February 13th. The Wolves will welcome Stillman for 1 game Saturday, and 1 game Sunday. They will then Play Young Harris at home a week from today on the 16th.
This means that UWG’s first 7 games will be at home in Carrollton. Last year, the Wolves went 17-5 at home.
You can find full statistics on the UWG baseball team by clicking this link.
***PICTURES WITH THE LOGO IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER WERE TAKEN BY ME, BRANDON WRIGHT. ANY PICTURE NOT WITH THE LOGO IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT I DID NOT TAKE. ALL OF THE PICTURES IN THIS SPECIFIC ARTICLE WERE TAKEN BY ME***