CARROLLTON, Ga. – A seven-run third inning from the Wingate Bulldogs was a dagger in the 2019 season opener on Saturday afternoon, as the Bulldogs used that inning to build to a 12-3 victory at Ron Christopher Field in Wingate, NC. In Game 2, a late charge from the Wolves fell short, as Wingate took both ends of the doubleheader with a 3-2 victory.
The Wolves managed just four hits in the game and had six errors, and Cade Marlowe belted a two-run home run as West Georgia fell to 0-1 on the year.
Fite went with senior Greyson McLeod for the opening day start, and the senior was solid through the first two innings. McLeod worked out of a jam in the first, then allowed a runner in the second, but that was all as the two teams headed into the top of the third.
Junior second baseman Brian Dansereau picked up where he left off in 2018, leading off the top of the third with a double. Dansereau led the team last season with 17 doubles on the year. He moved to third on a ground out, then scored the first run of the season on a sacrifice fly from Joseph Hill to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the second time through the lineup was not as friendly to McLeod, as the Bulldogs put up seven runs on six hits in the frame. West Georgia went through three pitchers in the inning, with Wes Bucher and Tyler Garner coming on in relief. Garner induced back-to-back outs to stop the bleeding and end the inning with the Wolves trailing 7-1.
In the fourth inning, the Wolves struck back, as Nick Poskey led off the frame with the second double of the day for West Georgia. Cade Marlowe helped Poskey come home quickly, belting his first home run of the season over the right field wall to cut the Wingate lead to 7-3.
Wingate worked out of the jam and then Andrew Llewellyn blasted a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth to put the Bulldogs up 8-3. Wingate added four more runs over the final five innings for the final result.
In the nightcap, Wingate starter Riley Isenhour outdueled West Georgia's Cory Bartholomew, holding the Wolves to a run on three hits through the first 4.2 innings of the game to take a 3-2 victory. Bartholomew was solid on the day, working the final three innings against Wingate in Game 1, then going 4.2 innings in the second game, with nine strikeouts. Cason Greathouse worked the final 1.2 innings in Game 2 for the Wolves, facing five batters and striking out two while allowing no runs or hits.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning, Tucker Breen reached on an error with one out on the board, then advanced to third on a Logan Taylor single. Lane Griffith lined out to center to bring Breen home on the sacrifice fly and cut the lead to 2-1.
After Wingate added another run in the bottom of the fifth, Marlowe led off the sixth with a walk, then stole second. On the steal, the throw went awry, sending Marlowe to third. Two batters later, Jermond Williams brought home Marlowe with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2.
West Georgia and Wingate will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. from Wingate, NC.