Eagles Take Opener Against #8 Georgia Tech, 6-5
STATESBORO, Ga. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) delivered a 2-run single in the seventh, then Dexter Bobo (Cumming/Darton College) pitched two hitless innings of relief as Georgia Southern defeated eighth-ranked Georgia Tech 6-5 Tuesday night (Feb. 24) at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Eagles (4-0 overall) snapped a five-game losing streak to the in-state rival Yellow Jackets, doing so in front of the fifth-largest crowd in J.I. Clements Stadium history 2,197 on a night where temperatures dropped into the 40s.
Tech (3-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second off freshman starter Matt Murray (Spring City, PA/Owen Roberts). With the bases loaded Chase Burnette drew a walk then Jeff Rowland recorded a RBI groundout. Murray struck out Patrick Long to avoid any more damage.
Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) doubled to start the bottom of the second. Ty Wright (Montrose/ABAC) hammered his first home run of the year, a line drive to left field, tying the score at 2-all.
The Yellow Jackets plated two more runs in their half of the third when Tony Plagman lined a RBI double and Tony Skole followed with a RBI single. Skole tried extending it into a double but was gunned down.
Will Southwell (Moultrie/Colquitt County) lined a RBI single with two down in the fourth then Wirnsberger came through with two down in the fifth, a RBI single to right tying the game.
Charles Matthews (Athens/Spartanburg Methodist) worked around a one-out walk in the sixth when Benedict threw out Jason Haniger trying for second base on a ball in the dirt. In the seventh he walked the leadoff hitter then Rowland reached on a bunt single. Matthews got Long to ground into a 4-6-3 double play but Derek Dietrich came through for Tech, lining a 3-2 RBI single up the middle for a 5-4 lead. Once again, the Eagles quickly responded.
Kevin Bowles (Statesboro/Statesboro) walked to start the Eagles’ half of the seventh. Thomas Nichols hit Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) on the very next pitch then both advanced a base thanks to a balk. With one down, Wirnsberger lined a fastball up the middle to bring home what proved to be the game winning runs.
Bobo entered the game in the eighth and retired the six batters he faced in order, including three strikeouts, to record his first save. Wright made an impressive catch on the run on the left field line for the second out of the ninth, then Bobo struck out pinch-hitter Connor Winn on four pitches to secure the win.
“To me it was just another game. I was trying to focus on just one pitch at a time. (Pitching) coach Beverlin told me to keep the ball down and that’s what I tried to do,” said Bobo. “Our offense is huge, it doesn’t matter who it is one through nine in the line-up, different people have come through. As a team, it is a big win. I think all the pressure was on them being ranked eighth, and we came out ready to play.”
Benedict joined Wirnsberger with two hits apiece. Miller and Benedict scored two runs apiece. Murray was charged for four runs on five hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Matthews (1-0) gave up one run on two hits in two innings, striking out one as the Eagles improved to 4-0 to start the year for the first time since 2001.
Nichols (0-1) was charged for the loss, allowing two runs in one-third of an inning. Starter Andrew Robinson allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out eight. Rowland led Tech with two hits as the Eagles held an 8-7 edge in hits.
The two teams conclude their two-game midweek series on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 25). First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 00:27