10th Inning Triple Leads Bulldogs Past Eagles in Title Game
GREENVILLE, S.C. - After committing an error in the bottom of the ninth that led to a game-tying sacrifice fly off the bat of Brent Pugh (Atlanta, Ga.), Zeth Stone struck for a bases-clearing triple in the top of the 10th inning to secure the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament Title for the Samford Bulldogs.
In the first rematch since the 1996 SoCon Tournament, Georgia Southern (33-27) rallied to tie the game after trailing by three runs twice but fell short of doing so a third time in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Eagles dropped their first ever game at Fluor field 9-6 to the Bulldogs and dropped to 5-5 in SoCon Championship Games.
A Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) lead off single in the ninth inning and an error by Stone, who failed to retire pinch-runner Ben Morgan (Evans, Ga.) at second base, led to the game-tying run. After an intentional walk of Tyler Avera (Baxley, Ga.) loaded the bases, Pugh hit a fly ball to center field to drive in the run. With two runners on base and two outs, Zac Lenns (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) hit a ground ball to the shortstop in the next at-bat, and Allison flipped it to second base to get Samford (39-21) out of the jam.
The Bulldogs found themselves in similar position in the top of the 10th inning after Jarret Leverett (Eatonton, Ga.) loaded the bases with a pair of walks. Leverett (4-2) was unable to avoid the big inning like GSU had done so many times before in the tournament after allowing the two-out triple to Stone.
The game started with 2011 Tournament MOP Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) on the mound. Beck, who had allowed only two earned runs in 24 career SoCon Tournament innings, gave up two runs to Samford on three hits and a walk in the first inning and allowed two more runs in the second inning.
The junior right-hander who had won his three previous career tournament starts was pulled after just 1.2 innings. Beck gave up five hits and two walks and struck out only two of the 12 batters he faced. After being stellar in his Wednesday victory over Elon, Beck labored in his second start of the tournament and threw 59 pitches in his short appearance.
The Bulldog's starter Josh Martin faced some similar early struggles and allowed a first inning run after walking lead off hitter Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.) to begin the game. After Williams reached third base on a hit-and-run ground out, Chase Griffin (Leesburg, Ga.) plated Williams with a ground out to third baseman Tommy Corbin.
Hess held the Bulldogs scoreless for three innings after relieving Beck in the second inning and allowing the Eagles to pull within a run. After a sacrifice bunt by Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) moved two runners into scoring position, a single by T.D. Davis (Evans, Ga.) and a ground out by Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) plated a pair of unearned runs to cut the lead to 4-3.
Samford went back on top an inning later after scoring two runs in the top of the sixth. A lead off single by Miller led to the first of two runs in the inning. After stealing second base, Miller scored on Christiaan Durdaller's one-out base hit. Stone later knocked in Durdaller with the first of his four RBIs to put the Bulldogs back on top by three runs.
2012 SoCon All-Tournament Team
SP Justin Hess, Georgia Southern
SP Josh Martin, Samford
RP C.K. Irby, Samford
C Chase Griffin, Georgia Southern
1B Ryan Kinsella, Elon
2B Tyler Avera, Georgia Southern
2B Zeth Stone, Samford
SS Austin Allison, Samford
3B Chris Ohmstede, Furman
OF Taylor Johnson, Furman
OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
OF Brandon Miller, Samford
DH Garren Palmer, Georgia Southern
Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Walt Nadzak Award
Josh Martin, Samford
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- Category: Baseball
- Published on Sunday, 27 May 2012 05:34