Offense Explodes for 16 Runs to Even Series
STATESBORO, Ga. - After a five-hit scoreless night in the series opener, the Georgia Southern offense came alive to score 16 runs on 18 hits. The Eagles evened the three-game Southern Conference series with Western Carolina after recording a 16-4 win in the 100th all-time meeting between the two programs on Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium. The win also secured the Eagles' spot in the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
After Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) sparked the offense with a lead off homer in the second inning, Georgia Southern (27-24, 13-13) added three runs in the fourth inning before exploding for 10 runs on six hits and a pair of Catamount errors in the fifth inning.
Justin Hess (Panama City, Fla.) took advantage of the offensive production and tossed six scoreless frames before giving up a run in the seventh inning on a two-out RBI single from Aaron Attaway. Hess (4-3) left after seven quality innings and allowed just the one run on eight hits and two walks.
Western Carolina (30-19, 14-12) was able to score three runs off of the Eagles' bullpen in the final two innings. A lead off double in the eighth inning came around to score on a RBI ground out by Julian Ridings. In a much similar fashion in the ninth inning, Dale Urquhart Jr.'s lead off single scored the first of two runs on a Ross Heffley base hit.
After a lead off walk of Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) scored the first run in the 10-run fifth, Brent Pugh (Atlanta, Ga.) broke open the inning with a two-RBI double that dropped in near the foul line in left field. Hunter Thomas (Johns Creek, Ga.), who had two-hits for a second-straight day, plated two more runs with a single to center field. Thomas also drove in runs with a ground out in the second inning and a single later in the fifth.
Morgan McKinney was unable to find an out in the bottom of the fifth and gave up eight runs - four earned - on nine hits over four frames. McKinney (6-3) was the first of four pitchers to throw in the frame. The third pitcher of the inning, Tyler Powell, finally recorded the first out of the frame on a fly out.
Georgia Southern responded to the Catamounts' seventh inning run off of Hess with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.) plated a lead off single in T.D. Davis (Evans, Ga.) with a base hit to center field.
Davis had four of the Eagles' 18 hits and went a career-high four-for-five with four runs scored, a walk and a RBI. Palmer, who had never had more than one hit in a game, went a perfect three-for-three with three runs and two RBIs. The sophomore designated hitter finished just a triple shy of the cycle. One of six Eagles in total with multi-hit days, Tyler Avera (Baxley, Ga.) tied a career-best with three hits in four at-bats.
The three-game series concludes tomorrow at J.I. Clements Stadium at 1:30 p.m. Will Middour (2-3, 4.11) will square off with freshman Jeremy Null (4-3, 5.11) in the rubber match.
All baseball games this season can be heard on the Boomer 103.7 FM and inside J.I. Clements Stadium on 88.1 FM. Audio for all games is also available on the web and subscription video is available for all home games at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision.
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- Category: Baseball
- Published on Saturday, 12 May 2012 03:37