Explosive Eighth Leads Eagles to 16-9 Win
“I’m very proud of the team and their effort tonight,” said head coach Rodney Hennon. “We fought back after making some mistakes early on to overcome Tennessee Tech. It’s good to get the first win under our belt and I’m proud of the bounce back by the team.”
Roache, Roman Grimaldi (Duluth, Ga.) and A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) homered as Georgia Southern collected 15 hits off of four Tennessee Tech pitchers. The Eagles also drew eight walks and were hit by three pitches.
Roache, Randy J. Williams (Valdosta, Ga.) and Grimaldi – the last three batters in Georgia Southern’s lineup – were a combined 7-for-12 with eight RBIs and eight runs. Grimaldi was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs, while Roache was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs, and Williams was 2-for-4 with one RBI and three runs.
Meanwhile, Georgia Southern’s bullpen allowed only two runs (one earned) on five hits in 5.1 innings of work. Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Following fellow relievers Colin Snow (Alpahretta, Ga.) and Dexter Bobo (Cumming, Ga.), Moye allowed three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
A crowd of 1,887 watched as the two teams traded the lead five times while combining for 29 hits and seven errors. Georgia Southern scored five unearned runs off of three Golden Eagle miscues; Tennessee Tech (1-1) posted four unearned runs off of four Eagle errors.
Georgia Southern took advantage of a two-out throwing error by Tennessee Tech’s shortstop, Chad Hayes, to score four unearned runs in the bottom of the second. After Williams stroked an RBI single, Grimaldi followed with a three-run blast over the fence in right-center field for a 4-0 lead.
Tennessee Tech’s A.J. Kirby-Jones had an RBI double in the top of the third to cut the Eagles’ lead to 4-1. But in the bottom of the inning, Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) singled and stole second base before scoring on Kyle Blackburn’s (Marietta, Ga.) groundout to put Georgia Southern up 5-1.
The Golden Eagles used a bloop double, an infield hit and two Eagle errors to score six runs and chase Georgia Southern starter Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) in the top of the fourth. Ben Burgess had a two-run single, Hayes had an RBI double that fell between three Eagles near the right field line, and Chad Oberacker drove in a run with a sharp comebacker that struck Murray’s leg and landed between the mound and third base.
When the half-inning ended, Tennessee Tech had sent 10 batters to the plate and assumed a 7-5 advantage, but Georgia Southern tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. After Roche launched a towering solo homer that almost hit the 2009 SoCon Champs banner beyond the center field fence, Williams was hit by a pitch and later scored from second on an errant pickoff attempt by the Golden Eagle catcher.
In the top of the fifth, a Georgia Southern error led to an RBI double by Oberacker that gave Tennessee Tech an 8-7 lead. Wirnsberger responded in the bottom of the inning drilling a home run over the scoreboard in left-center to tie the game.
The GS Eagles took a 9-8 lead on a two-out RBI single by Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) in the bottom of the sixth, but Tennessee Tech tied the game in the top of the seventh on Hayes’ second RBI double of the night.
Seth Edwards led off the top of the eighth with a line drive single to right field. When Roache failed to make a diving catch, Edwards tried to stretch the hit into a double, but Roche quickly recovered and threw him out at second base.
That set the stage for Georgia Southern’s explosion in the bottom of the eighth versus Chason Choate - the third of four Tennessee Tech pitchers. The Eagles sent 13 men to the plate, thanks to four hits, four walks and two hit batters. After Grimaldi led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Arthur Owens (Fayetteville, Ga.), Payne and Phillips were hit by consecutive pitches to load the bases for Blackburn, Georgia Southern’s cleanup hitter.
Blackburn coaxed a walk on a 3-2 pitch that scored Grimaldi and put the Eagles on top 10-9. Choate retired the next batter for out two before Bowles and Roache produced their two-run singles. Grimaldi added an RBI single and Payne drew a bases-loaded walk to complete the scoring.
Payne was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs while Wirnsberger was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. Blackburn was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Oberacker was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs, Hayes was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run, and Kirby-Jones and Tate McMillan were both 2-for-4.
Choate (0-1) was charged with the loss. On 1.2 innings, he allowed seven runs (all earned) on four hits with one strikeout, four walks and two hit batters.
The three-game series will conclude on Sunday (Feb. 21) at 1:30 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Saturday, 20 February 2010 23:29