Offense Explodes for Season-High 24 Runs in Win over Bethune-Cookman
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern scored in all but one inning, blowing open a close game in the middle innings for a 24-9 win over Bethune-Cookman Wednesday night (March 11) at J.I. Clements Stadium. The Eagles, improving to 12-2 overall, scored a season-high runs and for the third time this year plated 20 or more in a game.
Junior A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) hit two home runs in a game, the sixth time in his career doing so. Senior Jonathan King (Athens, TN/Young Harris) tied a Georgia Southern record drawing four walks in the game as the Eagles held an 8-0 lead after three innings. BC-U cut it to a two-run deficit but the Eagles exploded for 14 runs from the fifth inning on.
Bethune (8-7) threatened in the first, getting two singles and a hit batter to load the bases with one out. Jake Brown (Forest Hill, MD/Pitt CC) enticed a ground ball to shortstop Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell), who started an inning-ending double play.
Georgia Southern saw its first five batters in the game reach base and score. After consecutive walks to start the game, Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) and Ty Wright (Montrose/ABAC) lined RBI singles. Wirnsberger followed with a 3-run homer, his second of the year.
The Eagles added three more runs in the third. Will Southwell (Moultrie/Colquitt County) lined a sacrifice fly, Kevin Bowles (Statesboro/Statesboro) hit a RBI groundout and Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) followed with a RBI double.
The Wildcats plated four runs in the fourth but Wirnsberger responded with a 2-run shot in the bottom half of the frame. BC-U came back with another four runs in its half, an error with the bases loaded leading to three unearned runs.
Once again the Eagles responded in their half. With the bases loaded and one out, Wright lined a 2-run single up the middle. Randy Williams (Valdosta/Andrew College) ripped a 2-run double into the right field gap. Southwell greeted relief pitcher Arles Rivera with a RBI single making it 15-8.
Chris Banker (Martinez/Chattahoochee Valley CC) lined a 2-run single in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Chris Jones (Lithonia/Lake City CC) ripped a 2-run triple then Jake Ware (Statesboro/Statesboro) followed with his second career home run, capping the Eagles’ scoring outburst.
“We were focused tonight and did a good job putting them away. It was a great team effort. After a tough loss last night, you have to bounce back. You’re going to have games where you play like that during a season but I thought we did a tremendous job bouncing back,” said Wirnsberger. “I did realize I tied my home run career-high. (Chris) Shehan asked me the other day how many 2-home run games I had. Right now I’m just trying to hit line drives and my swing feels good.”
The Eagles held an 18-14 edge in hits but committed two more errors. Wirnsberger was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and five RBI.
King tied a record done on several occasions, scoring two runs. Wright added two hits and four RBI. Miller, Williams, Southwell and Pierce also added two hits as six Eagles finished with a multi-hit game.
Brown gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits in four innings. He struck out three and did not allow a walk. Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine) gave up one unearned run on one hit in two innings. He improved to 1-0 on the year.
Jose Ortiz finished 4-for-5 with two RBI. Alejandro Jimenez added three hits.
The Eagles begin Southern Conference play this weekend, part of an eight-game road trip. First pitch at UNC Greensboro Friday night (March 13) is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 00:21