FHU takes down No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett in season opener
"Guske worked eight solid innings and allowed just seven hits in the win"
(5)Georgia Gwinnett College

FHU takes down No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett in season opener

Fri, Feb. 3, 2017 - [Baseball]

Matt Barker, Sports Information Director

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The Freed-Hardeman Lion baseball team started their season off right Friday evening, as seven runs would be just enough to knock off No. 5 Georgia Gwinett College with a 7-6 victory on the road in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Brandon Guske (1-0) picked up the win after working eight innings and giving up just seven hits and two earned runs. Beau Caviness picked up the save in the ninth inning after striking out one and giving up just one hit to secure the victory.

The Lions received solid contribution from several players including Houston Looser who ended the day going 2-for-4, including a double, to drive in two runs in the game. Aden Campbell also exploded at the plate, as he went 2-for-3 in the game with two doubles. Joseph Leatherwood also knocked in two runs in the game to keep the Lions in it down the stretch.

Freed-Hardeman (1-0) would get things started first with a one-run first inning, as a pair of doubles by Chase Young and Houston Looser would give the Lions a 1-0 lead after Young crossed the plate.

The Lions would keep the 1-0 advantage over the Grizzlie's until the fifth inning when Georgia Gwinnett found some offense. Angel Soto would get things started for the Grizzlie's after being hit by a pitch and scoring off a single to left-center by Rodney Tennie. Jean Paul Rodriguez would also score on the single by Tennie following a bobble by Lion centerfielder Cody Duncan, to give the Grizzlie's a 2-1 lead.
The Lions; however, would come storming back with authority in the sixth inning, as they executed a five-run inning to take a commanding 6-2 lead in the game. Cody Duncan would get things started for the Lions with a triple to deep center-field and would later score off a single to left field by Houston Looser to even things up at two apiece.

The Lions would add four more runs in the inning, as Chase Young and Houston Looser would cross the plate off a walk issued to Ethan Mayberry and a sacrifice fly by Darcy Moore.

Joseph Leatherwood would drive in the remaining two runs in the inning with a single to deep center-field to score Mayberry and Aden Campbell to give the Lions some breathing room.

However, the breathing room would be short lived, as Georgia Gwinnett would push two more runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning. Marcus McCorkle would score first for the Grizzlie's after reaching on a walk and scoring off a double to deep left-field by Brady Hamilton. Hamilton would also score later in the inning to pull the Grizzlie's within two after Aden Campbell's missed fly ball at first base.

The Grizzlie's; however, would not be done, as they pushed two more runs across to even things up at six apiece in the bottom of the eighth inning to make things interesting. Brady Hamilton and Chris Jones would both cross the plate in the inning off a fielding error by Bryce Lester to even the score and put some pressure on the Lions in the ninth.

FHU; however, would come ready in the final inning, as Bryce Lester became the potential game-winning run after reaching base on a walk issued by Tanner Shelton and later reaching second off a wild pitch. Lester would advance to third following a single to left-field by Griffin Siebert to keep the Lions in control with bases loaded and no outs.

Chase Young would answer the call in his final at bat of the day with a sacrifice fly to center-field to score Lester and give the Lions a 7-6 lead. The Lions would strand the remaining three runners in the inning, but not before taking a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Beau Caviness would replace Guske in the ninth to close things out, but would soon find out it would not be a walk in the park. Rodney Tennie would represent the tying run in the ball game after using his speed to reach base on a one-out bunt. Tennie would reach second in the next at bat following a strikeout by Myles Smith to put runners in scoring position with two outs.

Things would remain uncomfortable for the Lions in the next at bat, as a wild pitch by Caviness would advance Tennie to third base with with two outs and Marcus McCorkle at the plate. However, Caviness would deliver under pressure, as McCorkle grounded out to the shortstop to secure the 7-6 win for the Lions.

With the win, the Lions move to 1-0 on the season and pick up a solid win over a top-five opponent in their season opener.

UP NEXT: The Lions will be right back at it Saturday at 12:00 PM CST for the second game in the three-game series with the Grizzlie's. Senior transfer Riley Echols is projected to start Game Two for FHU, as the Lions look to move to 2-0 on the season.