Eagles Sweep Braves in Doubleheader
STATESBORO, Ga. - Behind two home runs from junior Shawn Payne, Georgia Southern took game one of a doubleheader from Alcorn State, 10-7, and game two, 11-8, Sunday afternoon (May 9) at J.I. Clements Stadium. The Braves took an early lead in both contests, but the Eagles battled back to secure the doubleheader sweep. The wins pushed GS to 28-19 on the season, while Alcorn State dropped to 23-23.
Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) received the win in game one improving to 7-3 on the year. Brave starter Collin Armold was charged with the loss throwing five innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits. Game two was picked up by Eagle starter Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.), who moved his mark to 5-2 on the season. Steve Easter drew the loss, while closer Dexter Bobo (Cumming, Ga.) recorded his eighth save of the season.
Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.), Kyle Blackburn (Marietta, Ga.) and A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) each posted two hits apiece in game one. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) went 3-for-5 in game two, while Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) went 2-for-5.
After two scoreless innings, an infield RBI single from Blackburn put the first run on the board as GS took a 1-0 lead in the third. Jake Ware (Statesboro, Ga.), earning his second start of the season, led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a successful hit-and-run by Bowles to set up Blackburn's RBI hit.
But the Braves plated three in the fourth to take a two-run lead, 3-1. David Reed opened with a double to right field before Jake Brown (Forest Hill, Md.) forced two pop ups for two outs. But an Edgar Alvarez single to left tied the ballgame before a Cole Vicars two-run RBI triple to right gave Alcorn State its first advantage.
A two-run fifth inning extended the Braves' lead to 5-1. A pair of RBI singles from Reed and Alvin Jackson plated two runs for Alcorn State.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Payne reached on a walk and picked up two stolen bases thereafter allowing the junior to score on a sacrifice fly from Bowles. Following Blackburn's second infield single of the contest, Phillips doubled to left center to bring the tying run to the plate in Wirnsberger. The senior drove a full count pitch up the middle scoring both Blackburn and Phillips as the Eagles cut their deficit down to one run, 5-4. Arthur Owens (Fayetteville, Ga.) tied the contest using a double down the right field line that scored Wirnsberger from first for a 5-5 contest.
Payne roped a home run to centerfield in the sixth to return the lead back to Georgia Southern, 7-5. Ware walked to leadoff and Payne cleared the bases launching a 1-0 pitch to deep center.
A Brave run in the seventh tightened the ballgame. With two outs and a runner on third, Moye struck out Alvarez swinging, but a throwing error from Randy J. Williams (Valdosta, Ga.) to first allowed Alvarez to reach first and the run to score. Williams took the run back with an RBI single the bottom half of the frame before Payne launched his second home run of the game two batters later. Payne's two-run shot to left field gave the Eagles a 10-6 lead.
The Braves added their last run in the ninth using an RBI single up the middle from Alvarez. Charles Matthews (Athens, Ga.) closed out the contest working the ninth for the final 10-7 margin.
Alcorn State sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring three runs on five hits to take a 3-0 lead. But Georgia Southern scored a run in each of the first three innings to tie the contest 3-3. In the home half of the first inning, Payne opened with a double to left center and moved to third on a Bowles groundout. With two outs, Phillips lined a single up the middle to put the Eagles on board, 3-1.
GS cut the score to 3-2 adding a run in the second. The first two Eagles reached as Burruss doubled down the left field line and Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) drew a walk. Owens laid down a sacrifice bunt moving both runners a base allowing Payne's groundout to plate Burruss from third.
Two hits in the third tied the contest at 3-apiece as Blackburn doubled down the left field line to leadoff. Phillips bunt singled to follow and Blackburn scored two batters later on a Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) fielder's choice.
Alvarez was caught stealing in the fourth inning, but in the run-down, Jackson scored from third as Alcorn State retook a 4-3 advantage. But the Eagles loaded the bases on the first three batters using an error, single and hit batsman in the bottom half. Bowles drove in the tying run with a single to right field. With two outs, Wirnsberger handed GS its first lead of the game lining a 3-2 pitch through the left side scoring two runners.
Rodney Warren cut the score to 6-5 with a solo shot in the fifth to left center. A pair of wild pitches in the sixth cushioned the Eagles' advantage, 7-5, as Payne scored. But in the seventh, Warren homered for the second time with another solo shot to left field bringing the Braves to within one run.
The Eagles picked up four insurance runs with bases loaded in the eighth. Reliever Nick Carson walked in a run issuing a free pass to Roache on a full count. A triple steal followed with Phillips swiping home to score. Burruss then roped a double to left center that cleared the runners and pushed the score to 11-6.
GS's insurance runs proved critical when Kenny Rowan lifted a two-run home run to left center in the ninth. Bobo recorded the save working the final 1.1 innings, allowing the two runs on two hits.
Due to the travel schedule for Alcorn State, the final game of the three-game series has been moved up to a 2 p.m. start on Monday, May 10, instead of the original 6 p.m. scheduled start. All tickets purchased for the 6 p.m. game will be honored at 2 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Sunday, 09 May 2010 20:04