Eagles Take Rain-Delayed Series Opener from Elon
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern Baseball (23-15, 12-4) sent 14 batters to the plate in the first two frames to score four of its six runs in a 6-3 victory in the rain-delayed series opener against Elon (25-15, 14-5). The Eagles got a quality start from their Friday starter, Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.).
Beck allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven quality innings. The sophomore pitcher walked only one batter and struck out six to improve to 6-1 on the year. Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) closed out the game for his seventh save of the year. Murray allowed just one hit over the final two innings while striking out three.
Georgia Southern jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first three frames, but had to strap it down after Elon scored two runs in the fourth inning and sent the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth. Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) went 2-2 in the first two innings and scored a pair of runs to spark the Eagle offense in the early going.
Payne singled into left field to lead off the game and was one of eight batters to make a plate appearance in the first inning. GSU quickly loaded the bases with a hit by pitch and a walk of Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.). All three runners came around to score on a passed ball, fielding error and a bunt single by Garren Palmer (Dalton, Ga.) for a 3-0 Eagle lead.
Elon got its first run in the top of the second inning after Ryan Kinsella got caught in a rundown with two outs. Alex Swim, who led off the inning with a double into the left field corner, scored after reaching third on a fly out. In the bottom half of the inning, Payne singled back up the middle with one out and beat out a fielder's choice attempt at second base to put a runner in scoring position. He came around to score on a base knock by Phillips to put GSU up 4-1.
Georgia Southern extended its lead to 5-1 in the third inning with two walks and a pair of sacrifice bunts. Brent Pugh (Atlanta, Ga.), who bunted in his first three plate appearances, drove in Palmer with the squeeze play to open up a 6-1 margin. The Phoenix got two runs back in the fourth inning to pull within two runs. A double and a fielding error led off the inning for Jake Luce. He scored on a ground out in the next at-bat. A two-out fly ball was dropped allowing Ryan Kinsella to reach second base before back-to-back hits scored the unearned runs.
The score remained 6-3 for the final four innings were scoreless, however, Elon did send the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. A single and a fielding error put runners on first and third with one out, but Murray hunkered down and struck out the final two batters to end the threat.
The series continues tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. with the finale set for 1:30 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Georgia Southern Baseball games can be heard live on Eagle 102.9 FM and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision with broadcasts beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will call all the action.
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 Saturday, 23 April 2011 00:25