Baseball Opens Season with Victory Over UT Martin
STATESBORO, Ga. - Behind seven unanswered runs in the middle innings, the Georgia Southern Baseball team earned its first opening day win in its last three tries in front of the fourth largest crowd in J.I. Clements Stadium history. The Eagles defeated the UT Martin Skyhawks in the first of a three-game series 7-5 behind a solid six-inning start from Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) and three RBIs from senior Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.).
Beck (1-0), who tallied his second-straight opening day start for Georgia Southern (1-0), gave up a first inning solo shot but held UT Martin to just three hits. The junior pitcher struck out eight batters, including two in three separate innings, and walked just one batter over 79 pitches. Phillips gave the Eagles their first lead with a two-RBI single in the fifth inning and drove in the first of three runs in the seventh.
The Skyhawks struck early and got a solid four innings out of starter Alec Mills (0-1) before the Eagles struck for seven runs over three innings. Mills was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs in the fifth inning. He gave up just three hits but walked four batters in 4.2 innings of work.
Jordan Owen put UT Martin on the board in the first inning with a two-out solo shot over the left field wall. Beck bookended the first inning with strikeouts and coaxed a foul out before allowing the home run. He finished his stint on the mound by retiring the last seven batters he faced.
Georgia Southern took its first lead of the game with three two-out runs in the fifth inning. Phillips drove in two of the runs with a bases-loaded single to left field, and Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) tied the game at 1-1 with a single two batters earlier. Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.) drew a walk to start the two-out rally and walks of Stryker Brown (Dalton, Ga.) and Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) loaded the bases.
The Eagles added a fourth run an inning later on a single from freshman Tyler Avera (Baxley, Ga.), scoring T.D. Davis (Evans, Ga.) from second. Davis reached on a single to right field and advanced to second base on an error.
Georgia Southern took a six-run lead with three runs in the seventh inning, but UT Martin bounced back with three runs in the top of the eighth to cut the score to 7-4. The Eagles took advantage of an error and a hit batter to score three unearned runs in the seventh inning. A single up the middle from Ben Morgan (Evans, Ga.) drove in two runs, and Phillips plated the other.
The Skyhawks added a fifth run in the ninth inning, but Josh Stevenson (Social Circle, Ga.) (S, 1) coaxed a fly out to center to earn his first save of the season. Stevenson allowed the one run on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Owen.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. All games can be heard on the Boomer 103.7 FM and inside the stadium on 88.1 FM.
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- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 17 February 2012 22:10