Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Western Carolina
CULLOWHEE, N.C. Georgia Southern Baseball took game one of their Southern Conference series against Western Carolina 9-2, but dropped Saturday’s (April 11) nightcap 5-2 at Hennon Stadium. The 26th-ranked Eagles stand 23-9 overall, 8-4 in the SoCon.
In the third Georgia Southern plated two runs. Jonathan King (Athens, TN/Young Harris) singled up the middle to start the frame. Ty Wright (Montrose/ABAC) followed with another single to center, extending his hitting streak to a team- and career-high 14 games. Kevin Bowles (Statesboro/Statesboro) advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt then Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) reached on an infield single, scoring King. Eric Phillips (Carrollton/Carrollton) executed a safety squeeze bunt to perfection, scoring Wright for a 2-0 lead.
Western (20-11, 9-4) threatened in the third and fifth innings. With runners at second and third with two outs in the third, Chris Mederos (Valdosta/Gordon College) got Mitchell Hatley on a flyball to King in center. The Catamounts attempted a two-out rally in the fifth with a single and two walks to load the bases. Mederos got Ross Heffley swinging on the first pitch with a flyball again to King ending the threat.
The Eagles sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth. Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) walked then A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) reached on an infield single which put runners on the corners. Roman Grimaldi (Duluth/North Florida CC) executed a safety squeeze to score a run. King reached on an error to plate another run. With the bases loaded and two outs, Benedict lined Garrett Ozar’s first pitch into the left field gap. Centerfielder Dylan de Graaf made a diving attempt but the ball bounced just in front of him and all three scored on Benedict’s double for a 7-0 lead.
J.C. Lyons hit a one-out home run in the sixth inning, but the Eagles answered back in their half of the seventh with no hits. GS drew four consecutive one-out walks, the last with the bases loaded by King for his second RBI of the game. Wright just missed a grand slam by a few feet as de Graaf caught the ball on the warning track for a sacrifice fly and 9-2 advantage.
Mederos (7-0) allowed one run on four hits in 5.1 innings. He walked four and struck out five. Charles Matthews (Athens/Spartanburg Methodist) worked 2.1 innings, the second-longest outing of this season. The fellow junior allowed one unearned run on two hits.
Michael Hester (Evans/Greenbrier) came on with the bases loaded in the eighth and shut the door. The Eagle pitching staff stranded the bases loaded three times in the game, stranding 14 runners in the game.
Benedict had two of the Eagles’ nine hits, driving in four runs. Wirnsberger also had two hits and scored twice.
Masters (3-2) suffered the loss, allowing five runs four earned on seven hits in 5.1 innings. Lyons and Trevor Collias had two hits apiece.
Georgia Southern got its first three hits of the game on three singles in the fourth inning, courtesy of Benedict, Porter and Wirnsberger. However, Corey Martin worked out of the jam with a flyball to end the inning.
Jake Brown (Forest Hill, MD/Pitt CC) cruised through the first four innings of the scoreless pitchers duel. However, with one down, Collias hit a 3-run homer then two batters later Ross Heffley hit a solo shot for a 4-0 lead.
Benedict lined a leadoff double in the eighth. He advanced to third on an error and scored when Wirnsberger grounded out.
Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) singled to start the ninth and would score on Bowles’ two-out RBI single for the final margin.
Brown (2-3) matched his season-high throwing seven innings. He allowed five runs on eight hits, matching his season-high of six strikeouts.
Benedict finished with two hits, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Wright moved his to 15 games while Porter also reached double-digits, now at 10 games.
Martin (5-3) allowed one run on six hits in eight innings. He walked two and struck out five. Hatley had two of the Catamounts’ nine hits.
The Eagles go for the series win on Sunday afternoon (April 11), first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Saturday, 11 April 2009 20:48