Roache Sends the Game to Extra Innings, but the Eagles Fall in Opener
STATESBORO, Ga. - Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) capped the Georgia Southern Baseball team's (0-1) rally from a 5-0 deficit with a ninth-inning home run to send the game into extra innings, but two unearned runs in the 10th inning gave George Washington (1-0) the 8-6 win in the season opener Friday, February 18th.
Roache made his only hit of the game count by sending it over the wall in straight-away centerfield. The sophomore designated hitter had previously struck out twice and flew out twice, but blew the save opportunity for Chris Keiper and sent the game to the 10th inning.
Keiper ended up as the winning pitcher after siting down the Eagles in order in the bottom of the 10th inning. The senior transfer from Washington College picked up his first win with the Colonials after allowing one hit in two innings of work.
Jarret Leverett (Eatonton, Ga.) came on in the 10th inning in relief of Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) who pitched a stellar four innings out of the bullpen. Leverett quickly set down the first two batters in the order, but gave up a single up the middle to the third batter he faced. The junior transfer from Middle Georgia got another ground ball up the middle but it was misplayed, allowing Brendon Kelliher to reach safely. Paul Pakan stroked a two-out, two-strike double to plate both runners.
Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) carried his hitting streak over from last season and extended it to 11 games with a game-high three hits. Burruss is hitting an even .500 in his streak which dates back to May 11th of last season. He walked to open the game and recorded three-straight hits following a ground out in the third inning. The sophomore outfielder also scored a pair of runs and plated two more runners in his career-debut in left field. Burruss helped start the comeback by driving in the first Georgia Southern run of the game. He also scored Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) in the eighth inning with a two-out double.
Payne started the two-out rally in the eight inning with a bunt base hit that died in no-man's land between the pitcher and the catcher on the third base side of the mound. Payne also carried a hitting streak over from last season and extended it to 10 games.
George Washington opened the game with three runs in the first two innings, with all three runs scoring with two outs. Beck recorded back-to-back strikeouts after walking the first batter in the inning, but gave up two singles in a row. Brett Bowers gave GW the first run of the game on a single to center in the first inning.
The Colonials added two runs in the second inning on a two-RBI single by Owen Beightol. Ollie Mittag opened the inning with a single to centerfield, and Jordan Berry reached on an error after a strike out. A ground out that hit off the pitcher's glove advanced both runners into scoring position before Beightol's single drove them in.
George Washington tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning before Georgia Southern responded in the bottom half of the inning. Tyler McCarthy, who singled to lead off the inning, scored after a bases-loaded walk. A ground out by Stephen Oswald to second base for the second out of the inning plated the second run of the inning for the Colonials.
Georgia Southern finally got on the board in the bottom half of the fifth inning and scored three runs after sending all nine men in the order to the plate. A hit by Burruss and a bases-loaded walk by Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) drove in the first two runs of the inning, and Jesse Piccolo (Flagler Beach, Fla.) with his only hit of the day earned a RBI after driving in the third Eagle run.
Moye came on in relief in the sixth inning after the Eagles had already used four pitchers in the game and tallied six strikeouts in four innings of work. The senior captain allowed four hits, two walks and one unearned run in his first outing of the new year and allowed Georgia Southern the opportunity to tie the ballgame.
Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) was the opening day starter for GSU. The sophomore pitcher allowed one earned run and four hits in four innings of work on the mound. Beck struck out seven of the 18 batters he faced and allowed only one walk. Brian Derner opened on the mound for George Washington and was stellar in his three innings, allowing one hit and no runs. Derner struck out six Eagles and walked only two in 57 pitches.
Back-to-back hits in the bottom of the sixth inning scored the fourth run for the Eagles. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) drove in Burruss, who doubled with two-outs in the inning. Phillips stole second base to put another runner in scoring position, but Tom Richardson (Lilburn, Ga.) was called out on strikes to end the inning.
Newcomer Josh Adams (Bath, S.C.) has been tabbed as the Saturday starter. Adams joins the team from Spartanburg Methodist. He and his former teammate Marty Gantt, who signed with the College of Charleston, were named the top two newcomers in the Southern Conference by Baseball America.
George Washington will counter with senior pitcher Joe Richardson on Saturday. Richardson posted a 7-4 record with a 5.09 ERA last year.
Season tickets are currently on sale through the Georgia Southern Athletic Ticket Office at 800-GSU-WINS.
All baseball games can be heard on Fox Sports 106.5 FM in Statesboro and online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will have the call live from J.I. Clements Stadium all weekend.
Fans may follow Georgia Southern Baseball by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/baseball or check in at twitter.com/GSAthletics or facebook.com/GSAthletics for short updates.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 18 February 2011 22:28