Mederos Strikes Out 11 as Eagles Win Game One
STATESBORO, Ga. Chris Mederos (Valdosta/Gordon College) struck out 11 batters in the first seven innings, then Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine) shut the door as Georgia Southern held off a late Wofford rally winning 11-9 Friday night (May 15) at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Eagles improved to 36-15 overall, 18-8 in the Southern Conference, and with the loss Wofford (17-30, 7-20) was eliminated from qualifying for next week’s tournament meaning Furman will earn the eighth seed.
Mederos’ 11 strikeouts were not only a season-high, but marked the first time in three years an Eagle pitcher reached double-digits (Everett Teaford vs. Appalachian State on May 12, 2006). The offense supplied Mederos with plenty of run support in the early innings.
Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the second for the first run of the game. Wofford scored twice in the third when Michael Gilmartin reached on a fielding error that plated two runs, but the Eagles wasted no time in regaining the lead.
GS loaded the bases again in the third. Kevin Bowles (Statesboro/Statesboro) reached on a fielder’s choice, Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) reached on an infield single then Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) walked. Kyle Blackburn (Marietta/Walton) worked the count full and brought home a run on another walk. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) lined a 2-run single through the left side for a 4-2 lead.
In the fourth, Georgia Southern sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs. Benedict brought home a run on a groundout then Porter lined a RBI single.
Blackburn hit a 2-run homer to centerfield his sixth round-tripper hit in last 12 games played - then Wirnsberger followed with a towering solo shot to left field. Blackburn recorded home run number eight while Wirnsberger moved into a share of the team lead with his 11th. Roman Grimaldi (Duluth/North Florida CC) singled home the sixth run of the inning making it 10-2.
James Foster lined a RBI double in the fifth but the Eagles got that run back on Grimaldi’s sacrifice fly in the sixth, making it 11-3.
Mederos struck out two batters in the seventh inning to reach double-digits, and his night was through after throwing 104 pitches. However, in the eighth Wofford made things interesting.
After a leadoff strikeout, Gilmartin doubled, Konstantine Diamaduros walked and Jake Williams singled to load the bases on Michael Hester (Evans/Greenbrier). Josh McKinney singled home a run to prompt a pitching change. Charles Matthews (Athens/Spartanburg Methodist) gave up a walk to Mac Doyle then Neil Robinette singled home another run. Pierce made a running catch on a popup to left field for the second out, but Foster walked to make it a four-run game.
Dexter Bobo (Cumming/Darton College) came on in relief but Kyle Behrendt beat out an infield single. Bobo got Gilmartin on a called third strike to end the inning. In the ninth, Diamaduros hit a leadoff homer cutting the Eagles’ lead to two. Kamppi retired the final three batters in order for his eighth save.
Mederos improved to 10-1 on the year, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits. The junior right-hander took full advantage of the offensive production.
“Anyone who goes out there we know is going to do the job,” Mederos said. “I don’t worry about giving up runs because my team’s going to back me up no matter what. It’s good pitching for this team because of that.”
Wirnsberger recorded four hits in a game for the fifth time in his career. He drove in three. Blackburn matched his career-high hit total as well, finishing 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored. For the second time in a week Blackburn matched his career-high runs scored total.
Porter, Pierce and Grimaldi all tallied two hits apiece as the Eagles held a 17-13 edge. In fact, the 4-9 hitters combined for 15 hits, eight runs and 10 RBI.
Kamppi moved into a tie for sixth place on the GS career saves list, matching Steve and David Cogswell who also recorded 11 saves each.
Scott Summers (3-5) was charged for 10 runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings. He walked five and did not strike out a batter. Bobby DeLuria worked the final 4.1 innings, allowing one run on eight hits.
Behrendt finished with three hits, including two doubles. The Terriers hit five doubles in the game.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. first pitch on Saturday (May 16).
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 15 May 2009 23:12