CARROLLTON, Ga. – The 2018 season started out on a positive note for the West Georgia Wolves on Friday afternoon, as junior pitcher Greyson McLeod and the UWG bats were dominant in the opener at Lake Olmstead Stadium to the tune of a 16-2 victory over the Augusta Jaguars in Augusta, Ga.
Eight was the number of the day for the Wolves, as eight of West Georgia’s 14 hits were of the extra-base variety, including seven doubles. In the meantime, McLeod was impressive in his 2018 debut, striking out eight Jaguars on the afternoon, including five strikeouts looking.
Junior starter Greyson McLeod opened the season back in form for the Wolves, striking out two Augusta batters in a scoreless first inning. The scoring began in the top of the second, as right fielder Nick Poskey led off the inning with his first hit, a double to the gap in right center. Two pitches later, first baseman Logan Taylor belted a home run to left center, giving the Wolves an early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Wolves continued an extra-base hit parade, with junior center fielder Cade Marlowe delivering on a 1-out double to the gap. Senior catcher Price Peters then made it back-to-back doubles, scoring Marlowe from second and giving the Wolves a 3-0 lead. In the fourth inning, the Wolves broke the game wide open, as Brian Dansereau led off the inning with a bunt single. Two batters later, Dalton Gilliam reached on a fielder’s choice, giving the Wolves a bases-loaded, no out situation. After an out, Cade Marlowe doubled for the second time on the day, clearing the bases and giving UWG a 6-0 advantage. Two batters later, Poskey doubled again, scoring Price Peters for a 7-0 lead.
The scoring in the fourth closed out with yet another double, this time from Logan Taylor, marking the sixth double of the day in just four innings and giving the Wolves an 8-0 cushion. The two teams would go scoreless in the fifth inning, then the Wolves loaded the bases again in the top of the sixth with no outs. Poskey lifted a sacrifice fly into the outfield, scoring Ben Utley to extend the Wolves’ lead to 9-0.
After the Jaguars put a run on the board in the bottom of the sixth, West Georgia opened the top of the seventh with four straight hits, scoring two and chasing the Augusta relief pitcher with an 11-1 lead. Dalton Gilliam picked up the Wolves’ seventh double of the game in the frame, scoring Dansereau. Utley brought home Tucker Breen with a single to score the 11th run of the game for UWG.
The inning continued to take a turn for the worse for Augusta, as the Wolves scored two straight runs off of a hit-by-pitch, then Logan Taylor walked to give West Georgia a 14-1 advantage in the seventh. The Wolves added two more runs in the inning, taking a 16-1 lead into the bottom half of the frame.
McLeod moved to 1-0 on the year with a dominating performance, allowing six hits in six innings of work, striking out eight and giving up just one run in his first start since an injury at midseason last year. Andrew Marshall came on in relief, allowing one run in three innings of work with three strikeouts. Eight of the Wolves' starters had at least one hit on the day, led by Marlowe, who was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. Taylor, Poskey and Peters each had at least two RBI on the afternoon to lead the Wolves' offensive.
A doubleheader will be in the works for the Wolves and Jaguars on Saturday, with first pitch from Augusta coming at noon in Lake Olmstead Stadium.