CARROLLTON, Ga. – Andres Fernandez and Christopher Michals were dominant for the West Georgia Wolves on Saturday afternoon in a single game against Albany State at Cole Field, leading the Wolves to a 13-3 victory in the first of a two-game series. The win marks the ninth-straight to open the year, marking the best undefeated streak to open a season in UWG baseball history.
Fernandez struck out 15 batters, including 10 of the last 11 that he faced, pitching seven strong innings to close out the game after replacing Greyson McLeod. The Golden Rams scored just one run on two hits against Fernandez and the junior allowed just two walks. Michals was 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored on the day, helping to produce half of the Wolves’ 13 runs in the game.
Things started off on the wrong foot for the Wolves, as Albany State’s Chasen Roulhac reached to lead off the game by being hit by a pitch from junior Greyson McLeod. Roulhac would eventually reach third base in the inning, but go no further.
While the West Georgia bats took some time to wake up early in the game, Albany State scored two runs in the first three innings, chasing McLeod from the game early in the top of the third inning. Head coach Skip Fite at that point brought in Fernandez in relief, and after giving up an RBI double, Fernandez settled down and struck out two straight batters to end the threat.
Brian Dansereau has had some big hits for the Wolves thus far this season, and the junior second baseman came up big again in the bottom of the 4th with a solo homer to cut the ASU lead to 2-1. West Georgia then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a single from Logan Taylor, scoring Christopher Michals and tying the game at 2-2.
Michals struck again later in the game, after Albany State took advantage of a West Georgia error in the top of the 6th to retake the lead at 3-2. In the bottom of the sixth, as has been the trend for UWG baseball this season, Tucker Breen singled with two outs, then Michals followed up with a two-run homer to give the Wolves a 4-3 lead.
In the eighth, as has become the norm, the Wolves struck again and again. Thus far on the season, West Georgia has scored 38 of their Gulf South Conference leading 99 runs in their final at bat. Dansereau opened the eighth-inning offensive explosion with a one-out single, followed by back-to-back walks by Price Peters and Tucker Breen.
Michals came up for his fourth at-bat of the game and delivered again, this time with a two-run double to give the Wolves a 6-3 lead. Third baseman Ben Utley then walked and Cade Marlowe blasted his first home run off the season, a grand slam to put the Wolves at a commanding 10-3 advantage. But that wasn’t all, as West Georgia scored three more times in the inning, picking up RBI singles from Dansereau and Hunter Stubbs to go along with a ground out RBI from Peters.
A senior from Evans, Ga., Michals was 3-for-4 on the day with four RBI and three runs scored, picking up a single, double, a home run and a walk. Dansereau was the only other UWG player with multiple hits, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
The two teams will play in the two-game series finale on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch at Cole Field set for 1 p.m.