Baseball Holds on for 8-7 Win to Split Series with Catamounts
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Georgia Southern (21-15, 10-4) opened up an early 5-0 lead but would have to hold to a one-run lead in the final two innings to split the series with Western Carolina (14-18-1,5-12) with an 8-7 victory on Saturday, April 16th. The Eagles rebounded from yesterday's 12-4 loss with a four-run first inning, but the Catamounts' five runs over the sixth and seventh innings made the game close.
Georgia Southern out-hit Western Carolina 11-8 but committed three errors to the Catamounts two. Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) and Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) all had two hits each, while Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) drove in four runs, including three on a first-inning homer.
The Eagles found a way to hold on for the victory on a day when the pitching staff was not its sharpest. Three pitchers combined for a season-high seven walks, nine strikeouts and five earned runs. Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) earned his fourth win of the season after allowing just one earned run on three hits. Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) threw a scoreless final two frames after allowing a run in the seventh inning to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Jordan Smith was tagged with his fourth loss after giving up all eight Eagle runs. Three other pitchers combined to throw four scoreless innings. Preston Hatcher allowed just one hit over the final 3.2 innings and struck out four batters.
Payne led off the game with an infield single before Phillips was hit by a pitch to put two men in scoring position with one out. Roache emptied the bases with a three-run home run in the next at-bat. Back-to-back doubles by Cochrane and Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) added the fourth run in the first inning. The Eagles went on to load the bases but were unable to add any more runs in the inning.
A second double by Cochrane in the second inning drove in Phillips with two outs. Phillips, who singled with one out, scored from first base on the two-base hit from Cochrane. A two-out error in Cochrane's third at-bat allowed Phillips to once again cross the plate for a 6-1 lead.
Georgia Southern led off the sixth inning with back-to-back hits and scored a run on a triple by Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.). Burruss scored on a ground out in the next at-bat. Western Carolina walked the bases loaded with one out, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the Eagle threat.
Two-out hitting by Tyler White plated the Catamounts' first run of the contest in the third inning. A double and an error tacked on another solo run in the fourth inning for Western Carolina. WCU got two more runs in the sixth inning on a two-out double by Austin Schultz and tacked on three more in the seventh on two hits and an error.
Georgia Southern and Western Carolina will meet for the rubber match of the three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Georgia Southern Baseball games can be heard live on Eagle 102.9 FM and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision with broadcasts beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will call all the action.
Fans may follow Georgia Southern Baseball by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/baseball or check in at twitter.com/GSAthletics or facebook.com/GSAthletics for short updates.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Saturday, 16 April 2011 20:59