Eighth-Inning Rally Propels Baseball to Victory in SoCon Tournament Opener
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Georgia Southern Baseball team (33-23) rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the College of Charleston (36-21) 4-2 in the final game of the opening round of the Southern Conference Tournament.
The contest was delayed from its original 9 p.m. start time and did not get under way until 12:30 a.m. because of a 20-inning contest between Western Carolina and Elon that proceeded it. The game between Georgia Southern and Charleston lasted two hours and 31 minutes and ended at 3:01 a.m. It was the last game being played at the time in Division I baseball and the major leagues.
The win was the first for GSU in the Southern Conference Tournament since their 2009 championship game victory over Elon at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C.
The Eagles' rally in the eighth all came with two-outs. A single up the middle from Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) tied the game at 2-2 before a two-RBI triple from Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) broke up the tie. A bunt single from Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) came after two quick outs to start the inning and forced a throwing error, putting a runner in scoring position. A hit batter added another baserunner before the single form Cochrane and the triple from Burruss plated the runs.
Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) struck out the side three times including in the first inning. Beck (W, 8-4) struck out a career-high 13 batters and allowed two runs, one earned on five hits in his first career start in the SoCon Tournament. He surpassed his previous high of 12 punch outs set against North Carolina Central on February 27th.
Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) closed the door in the ninth inning for the Eagles. Murray (S, 9) struck out two batters and pitched a perfect inning to end the ball game.
Josh Renfro pitched a solid seven innings for Charleston but a three-run eighth inning erased his quality start. Renfro (L, 9-3) allowed four runs on seven hits in an eight-inning complete game.
Georgia Southern scored first with a single run in the second inning before Charleston tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth. A ground out to the right-side with runners on the corners drove in GSU's first run. A hit by pitch and a bloop single from Tom Richardson (Lilburn, Ga.) setup the RBI groundout by Ben Morgan (Evans, Ga.).
An unearned run crossed the plate in the fourth inning for the Cougars, who took a 2-1 lead with a single run in the seventh inning. Jamie Holler chopped a ball back up the middle for the RBI after a leadoff double by Marty Gantt put a runner in scoring position.
Georgia Southern faces Western Carolina later on tonight at 9 p.m. at Joe Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
All Georgia Southern Baseball games can be heard on Eagle 102.9 FM in Statesboro and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision 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 Thursday, 26 May 2011 04:30