GREENWOOD – Lander catcher Zack Moore had three hits and three RBI, but it was not enough as Georgia Southwestern scored a run in the top of the ninth and edged the Bearcats 7-6 in their Peach Belt Conference series opener Friday afternoon at Dolny Stadium.
Lander fell to 12-26 overall and 6-16 in the Peach Belt.
The Hurricanes improved to 7-29, 3-19.
The teams will finish their conference series Saturday with a double-header starting at 1 o'clock at Dolny Stadium.
Jared Jones paced Georgia Southwestern with a home run while driving in three runs, including the game-winning RBI in the ninth. Dakota Long went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the visitors, Josh Logan was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Andy Moore went 2-for-5 for the Hurricanes.
Kyle Britt (3-3) earned the victory for Georgia Southwestern, pitching nine complete innings. He allowed six runs on 11 hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.
JD Cook (3-5) took the loss in relief for Lander.
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jonathan Martin walked, moved to second on Kole Clark's ground out, and scored on Long's double.
After hitting into a pair of double plays earlier in the game, Lander broke through in the fourth with four runs.
Fitschen led off the fourth with a single to left, Colton Yeager walked and the runners moved up a base on Nathan Schreckengost's grounder to first. Zack Moore hit a two-out, two-run single to right center and Connell followed with a two-run homer over the left-field wall. It was Connell's sixth home run of the season and gave the Bearcats a 4-1 lead.
Georgia Southwestern pulled within 4-3 in the fifth when Long singled, Jason Baita doubled, and Logan hit a two-out, two-run single.
The Hurricanes tied it at 4-all in the top of the sixth when Clark singled, stole second, and scored on a single by Long.
Lander regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs on five singles. Yeager, Schreckengost, and Carson Jones all singled while Moore and Conner Davis delivered RBI singles for a 6-4 lead.
Georgia Southwestern tied the game back up again at 6-all in the top of the seventh on a two-out, two-run homer by Jared Jones.
The Hurricanes took a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth when Bradley Hough walked, moved to second on Baita's bunt, stopped at third on Logan's single, and scored when Jones grounded out to short. It might have been a double-play opportunity, but Georgia Southwestern put on a hit-and-run play, leaving the only chance for an out at first base.
Lander threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Kyle Jenkins reached on a three-base error when the Hurricanes center fielder dropped his one-out fly ball. Georgia Southwestern brought the infield in and recorded the second out on a ground ball to short, and the game ended on a fly ball to center.
Bearcats starting pitcher Alex Moore worked 6.2 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out six, all swinging.
Cook relieved Moore with two outs in the seventh and wound up taking the loss, allowing the ninth-inning run. Robbie Hoyt got the final two outs on the mound for Lander.