Late Surge Sends Golden Eagles Past Georgia Southern
After jumping out to an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Georgia Southern was outscored 12-1 the rest of the way in front of a crowd of 1,862 fans. The Eagles were out-hit 14-11 as Tennessee Tech’s bullpen allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings of work.
Golden Eagle starter Tristan Archer lasted just two innings, giving up eight runs (three earned) on seven hits. Wirnsberger had an RBI single and Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) added a two-run double as Georgia Southern jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
A two-out error by Tennessee Tech’s second baseman opened the door for a five-run eruption by the Eagles in the bottom of the second. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) had a one-run single before Blackburn belted a three-run homer to left-center field. Wirnsberger followed with his second home run in as many days, a solo shot that increased Georgia Southern’s advantage to 8-0.
Eagle starter Trent Franzago (Byron, Ga.) had a one-hit shutout going through four innings, but the Golden Eagles reached him for three runs in the top of the fifth. Zephan Guyear plated a run with a fielder’s choice, Chad Oberacker had an RBI single and Seth Edwards followed with a one-run double as Tennessee Tech sliced Georgia Southern’s cushion to 8-3.
Franzago exited following the fifth inning, and four Eagle relievers combined to surrender nine earned runs on nine hits and five walks in the final four innings.
The Golden Eagles scored a run on a fielder’s choice by Oberacker in the top of the sixth to cut Georgia Southern’s lead to 8-4. In the top of the eighth, Tennessee Tech used three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball to take its first lead of the game. A.J. Kirby-Jones provided the big blast, a three-run homer off of Eagle reliever Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) that put the Golden Eagles up 9-8.
Georgia Southern tied the score in the bottom of the eighth when Roman Grimaldi (Duluth Ga.) led off the inning with a double to left-center field and then scored on Shawn Payne’s (Stone Mountain, Ga.) one-out double to the same location.
Tennessee Tech went ahead to stay with a two-out uprising in the top of the ninth. Edwards had an RBI single and Ben Burgess added a two-run single to give the Golden Eagles a 12-9 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) delivered a one-out double, but was left stranded on second as Tennessee Tech reliever Ryan Hopkins retired the next two batters.
Hopkins (1-0) was the winning pitcher. The last of four Golden Eagle hurlers, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit with one strikeout and one walk.
Moye (1-1) was charged with the loss. In two innings, he allowed five runs, all of them earned, on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Blackburn was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs while Wirnsberger was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs.
For Tennessee Tech, Guyear, Oberacker and Tate McMillan were all 2-for-4. Edwards, Casanova Donaldson and Chad Hayes were all 2-for-5. Kirby-Jones had three RBIs and Guyear, Oberacker, Edwards and Burgess each drove in two runs.
Georgia Southern will continue its season-opening homestand on Tuesday (Feb. 23) against Georgia Tech. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Sunday, 21 February 2010 18:05