CARROLLTON, Ga. - The first foray in the 2019 postseason was a positive one for West Georgia baseball, as the seventh-seeded Wolves upended second-seeded Mississippi College 6-5 on Friday afternoon at Choccoloccco Park in Oxford, Ala.
In the second game of the opening day of the 2019 Gulf South Conference Baseball Championships, head coach Skip Fite gave the ball to Taylor Boisclair on the mound. The junior worked 5.1 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits. But the story of the day was C.J. Fehribach and Drew Hayles, who came on in relief and shut out the Choctaws over the final 3.2 innings. Fehribach took the victory, moving to 3-2 on the year while Hayles picked up his sixth save.
Mississippi College struck first in the matchup, taking advantage of a walk and two hit batsmen in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead. West Georgia had just one hit through the first two innings, but that changed in the top of the third when Brady Barnes led off the frame with a single. Dylan Johnson moved Barnes to second on a sacrifice bunt, then Brian Dansereau tied the game with an RBI single. Cade Marlowe followed with a single, giving the Wolves runners at the corners with one out.
Marlowe then stepped into the West Georgia single-season record books by stealing second base. It was the 44th steal of the season for Marlowe, breaking a 27-year old school record. The senior already holds the career record for stolen bases and exits the day with 90 career swipes, a number good for seventh all-time in Gulf South Conference baseball.
With two outs in the third inning and a tie ballgame, junior designated hitter Dan Oberst broke the tie in a big way, belting his sixth home run of the season. The shot to left field gave the Wolves a commanding 4-1 advantage.
Mississippi College began to chip away at the UWG lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the third and another in the bottom of the fifth. The Choctaws regained the lead with a two-run sixth, forcing Fite to go to the bullpen with Fehribach. In the three innings since Oberst's home run, the Wolves had gone cold, delivering but one hit in that span.
That changed in the top of the seventh when Johnson, Dansereau, and Marlowe led off the inning with three consecutive walks to load the bases. Logan Taylor then delivered a single between shortstop and third, scoring Johnson and Dansereau for what would be the final lead change of the day.
The Choctaws threatened in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases, but Hayles came on and picked up a strikeout to close out the inning and preserve the lead. In the ninth, Hayles sat MC down in order to close out the victory.
West Georgia will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m. against the third-seeded Delta State Statesmen, a team that blasted Valdosta State in teh tournament opener on Friday.