Eagles Fall to Crusaders
Eagle starter Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) and reliever Jake Brown (Forest Hill, Md.) limited Holy Cross to eight hits, but the Crusaders got a sacrifice fly from Chris Sintetos in the top of the sixth inning to snap a 2-2 tie and salvage the finale of the three-game series.
Georgia Southern fell to 3-5 on the season while Holy Cross improved to 1-2.
Crusader starter Nate Koneski (1-0) allowed two earned runs on three hits in 7.2 innings to earn the win. After giving up a two-run homer to Kyle Blackburn (Marietta, Ga.) in the bottom of the first, he retired 22 of the next 25 batters he faced, including 15 in a row at one point.
Ryan George relieved Koneski with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and worked his way out of two jams to pick up the save.
Beck (0-2) surrendered three earned runs on seven hits in five-plus innings and took the loss. After allowing a two-run blooper double in the top of the first, he retired 12 of the next 15 batters he faced. Brown relieved Beck in the top of the sixth and worked four scoreless innings.
A crowd of 1,208 watched as the Crusaders grabbed the early lead for the third game in a row. After a pair of singles put runners on first and second, Stephan Wadsworth lifted a flair to short right field that scooted away from a diving Georgia Southern defender for a two-run double.
The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the first when Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) singled and scored on Blackburn’s third home run of the season, a blast to straightaway center field.
Thanks to a pair of Holy Cross errors, Georgia Southern had runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but the Eagles could not get a clutch hit against Koneski, who didn’t allow another base runner until the bottom of the eighth.
The score remained tied at 2-2 until the top of the sixth. After Steven Tkowski led off with a single, Eric Oxford and Wadsworth walked to load the bases with nobody out. Brown relieved Beck and retired the first batter he faced on an infield popup before Sintetos delivered a run-scoring fly ball to right field, putting the Crusaders ahead 3-2.
The Eagles threatened in the bottom of the eighth. With two out, Payne doubled and Blackburn walked. After relieving Koneski, George uncorked a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third, but recovered to get a strikeout for the final out of the inning.
Georgia Southern threatened again in the ninth. Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) drew a leadoff walk and Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) walked with two out, but George coaxed a groundball to the second baseman for the last out of the game.
Payne was 2-for-4. Tkowski was 2-for-3 with two runs.
After opening the season with an eight-game homestand, the Eagles will visit North Florida for the first road game of the season on Tuesday (March 2) at 7 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Monday, 01 March 2010 21:09