Big Inning, Pitching Lifts Eagles to Saturday
GREENVILLE, S.C. - For the second straight day great pitching and a big inning from the offense lifted the Georgia Southern Baseball team to a Southern Conference Tournament victory. This time the victory came in an 8-1 win over The Citadel Bulldogs on Thursday night at Fluor Field.
Georgia Southern (32-26) moved on to Saturday with back-to-back wins, the eighth time they have done so in 13 seasons under Head Coach Rodney Hennon, after a third inning grand slam and improved to 5-2 in the last seven games in The Citadel (25-32) series.
Kevin Connell loaded the bases in the third inning and T.D. Davis (Evans, Ga.) cleared them with his first career grand slam. Davis hammered a 2-1 pitch from Connell (1-5) off the third level of the condo's in left field to blow open a 1-0 lead.
The freshman left-hander walked the nine-hole hitter Zac Lenns (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) to start the big inning and allowed three more walks, including a RBI free pass to Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) for the first run of the frame.
Connell later struck out Tyler Avera (Baxley, Ga.) to get out of the bottom of the third without any more damage but was pulled after allowing a lead off single to Brent Pugh (Atlanta, Ga.) to start the fourth inning. The freshman allowed five earned runs on three hits and five walks over three frames.
In a repeat of the match-up from game two of the regular season series, Justin Hess (Panama City, Fla.) bested Connell for a second time this season and picked up the win in his first-ever SoCon Tournament appearance.
Hess (5-3) allowed just one lead off base runner to reach base and stranded 9 runners on base. The five other Bulldog base runners all reached with two outs including the run in the sixth inning. The junior right-hander struck out seven batters over six innings and threw just under 100 pitches.
The Bulldogs threatened for a big inning in the top of the sixth inning after scoring a two-out run on a RBI single from Tyler Griffin. An errant throw from Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.) on an attempt to throw out Joe Jackson at the plate allowed two base runners to move into scoring position. Hess battled back after giving up the walk and two hits in the frame and coaxed a fly out to end the inning.
The Eagles added single runs in the final three innings, and Jarret Leverett (Eatonton, Ga.) provided three scoreless frames of relief to pick up his team-best seventh save. Leverett (S, 7) struck out the side in the seventh inning and finished the game with seven punch outs.
Georgia Southern will have Friday off and will play the winner of Friday's game between The Citadel and Elon on Saturday at 10 a.m.
All baseball games this season can be heard on the Boomer 103.7 FM. Ryan Chambers will have the call on Saturday and will be joined by former minor league pitcher Kris Draper in the radio booth. Audio for all games is also available on the web at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision.
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- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 05:19