Rio White contributed to this article.
The Kennesaw State baseball team played five games last week beginning on Tuesday, March 5, dropping a home game to Georgia Tech before losing to them on the road, and then losing three games at Samford.
At home against GT, the Owls rallied from nine runs down to score six runs in the final three innings but fell short 10-7.
The Yellow Jackets, who were ranked No. 17 in preseason polls, defeated the Owls with a veteran team consisting of many returning starters.
A comeback attempt for KSU fell short as GT built up an early 6-0 lead against starting pitcher Jake McLinsky and reliever Brison Finey, while the Owls were held to one run over the first five innings.
After additional runs by the Yellow Jackets, KSU’s comeback started in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 10-1 when left fielder Garrett Hodges batted in two runs with a single. Soon after that, second baseman Jaylen Smith hit an RBI single.
Pitchers Cooper Mayhall and Luke Torbert shut out GT in the top of the eighth and ninth innings, allowing the Owls to stay in the game. After a walk for second baseman Tyler Simon to start the bottom of the ninth, center fielder Alex Carballo hit a two-run home run.
The Owls scored six unanswered runs to end the game and had four players each with hits.
Despite the scoreline, the KSU pitchers put up a great fight against GT, with highlights from Mayhall and Tolbert’s final two shutout innings. The pitching staff only gave up five earned runs as a few errors were committed at moments that led to the Yellow Jackets scoring.
After hosting GT, the Owls traveled down to Atlanta the next night, falling 9-1. KSU managed just five hits on the day and scored its only run on a bases-loaded walk.
KSU’s pitching gave up just two runs in the first four innings but gradually gave up more hits and runs to the Yellow Jackets.
The Owls then traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to take on Samford in a three-game weekend series.
Though all three games were losses, the team showed improvements against the Bulldogs during Friday’s 6-5 loss. KSU led the game 4-2 after six innings, but two home runs confirmed a win for Stetson.
Samford got out to an early lead in the next game with three runs in the first inning, and the Owls were only able to put two runs on the board later on.
Next, the Owls will play five home games beginning Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. as KSU plays the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College twice before facing off against the University of Massachusetts three times.