GC baseball struggles in first home series

Redshirt-sophmore infielder Dominic Arienzo drives the ball of the bat versus Florida Southern on the weekend of Feb. 18.

Marissa Marcolina

Redshirt-sophmore infielder Dominic Arienzo drives the ball of the bat versus Florida Southern on the weekend of Feb. 18.

Emily Henderson, Staff Writer

GC baseball hosted their first home series of the year on homecoming weekend, playing Feb. 17-19 against Florida Southern University in a non-conference series. The Bobcats were excited to be playing back at home despite being swept by FSU. 

The first game of the series was the Bobcats’ best performance against the Mocs. GC could not hold onto their lead, and FSU came back to tie the game in the eighth inning, sending the game into extra innings. 

A walk and two hits in the top of the tenth lost the Bobcats the game. Despite having two hits and scoring one run in the bottom of the tenth, GC lost 6-5.

GC showed off their bats in game two of the series but were out hit 8-16. While they made the most contact with the ball, they were unable to score many runs, leaving ten men on base. 

The Mocs had a big first inning, scoring five runs, and the Bobcats never recovered, losing 13-1.

The final game of the series was a slow game for the Bobcats. Freshman pitcher John Luke Glanton made his first career start. His first inning was a little rocky, but he got out of the inning, leaving two runners on base. The Bobcats first inning offensively was a quick three up, three down. 

The second inning did not go as smoothly as the first for Glanton. He faced five batters, giving up two walks, a double and two singles, which scored three runs. 

Senior pitcher Trey Felt entered the game with two men on base and no outs. Felt put out the fire, striking out the first two batters he faced, while the third batter flied out to the right fielder, Brandon Bellflower.

GC started the bottom of the second strong with a single up the middle from senior infielder Ben Tuten. Tuten stole second after a strikeout from Jaxon Weatherford, putting him in scoring position. 

Junior infielder Palmer Sapp drove home Tuten with a line drive up the middle but was left on base after senior outfielder Hunter Baker struck out.

The rest of the game was unsuccessful hitting-wise for the Bobcats. While GC did get on base because of multiple walks and hit by pitches, the lack of hits after the second inning cost them the game.

FSU had ten more hits than GC during the game, including a big two-run homer in the fourth inning, outscoring the Bobcats 9-1. 

“It was a tough weekend,” said GC head coach Nolan Belcher. “But we played to the best of our ability, and we will be back to work next week and continue to try to improve and try to get better every day.” 

GC was scheduled to host their first home series of the season Feb. 11-12, but it was  delayed due to inclement weather.

“This was my first home series ever at GC, so it was exciting,” Felt said, who is playing his first season with GC after transferring from Gordon State. “Definitely got the blood pumping a little bit. Adrenaline was flowing, but it was really good. It was not how we wanted it to go, but it was exciting nonetheless.” 

The Bobcats played their first eight games of the season versus tough non-conference teams, including No. 7 Tampa. While GC has not seen the results they had hoped for against these teams, being 1-7, it still has given them a good start to the season.

“Tough series like that with FSU, they are always great competitors, and they always have a great team, so it really helps us prepare for the season and who we are going to face late in the year,” Sapp said. “We did it last week with Tampa. We did it with these guys, and we learned a lot as a team. And we learned that we could play with these guys, and we believe it. It’s all up from here.”

The team hopes to turn things around quickly and improve their record, especially against conference teams. Their next home game is March 1 at 5 p.m. in a one-game series against West Georgia.