Eagles Take Series, Top Bulldogs 14-9
Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) picked up the win in front of 2,221 fans, moving to 2-3 on the year. Beck entered in the fourth and threw 3.1 innings, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned). Dexter Bobo (Cumming, Ga.) recorded his fifth save of the season and second consecutive, closing out the last two innings, surrendering only two hits.
Samford starter Kyle Putkonen drew the loss, working 3.2 innings, allowing six hits and six runs to cross home plate. Like GS, Samford worked through four pitchers on the evening as the teams combined for 23 runs, 30 hits and two errors.
A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and Randy J. Williams (Valdosta, Ga.) each went 3-for-5. Wirnsberger finished the game with one run scored and two RBI, while Williams scored twice and drove in a career-high four RBI, including a three-run shot in the fourth that handed the Eagles their first lead of the contest.
Eagle starter Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) gave up two hits within the first two innings, but faced the minimum number of batters as each were caught stealing by Eagle catcher Williams.
The Eagles threatened first when Wirnsberger tripled to right center roping a 0-1 pitch to the right field wall in the bottom of the second. But Putkonen got out of the jam with a close double-play groundout.
Michael Johnson deposited a two-run home run in the third to right center that plated Gary Cramer who reached on a single up the middle as the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead to start.
The Eagles put a runner on third in the bottom half of the inning, but could not put together a run stranding Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) on third base. Payne reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and then stole second base for his 15th steal of the season.
Samford’s second home run of the ballgame, a two-run shot from David Schulze in the fourth, quickly pushed the Bulldogs’ lead out to 4-0.
It only took one trip through the batting order for the Eagles to key in on Bulldog starter Putkonen as they exploded in the fourth, sending 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on five hits. Eric Phillips (Carollton, Ga.) put the first runs on the board with his fifth home run of the season, and third in four games, to cut the score in half, 4-2. Kyle Blackburn (Marietta, Ga.) drew a walk to lead off the inning before Phillips drilled the first pitch over left field wall. Wirnsberger followed singling through the left side and scored on a Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) double down the left field line. Roache roped his first pitch just to the right of third base into the left field corner scoring Wirnsberger and the Eagles suddenly trailed by one run, 4-3.
In the next at-bat, Williams turned a hit-and-run into a three-run blast to left field as Georgia Southern took a two-run lead, 6-4.
Samford put two runners on in the fifth with two outs using a single and walk, but Beck, who entered in the fourth, worked his way out of the jam, stranding two base runners forcing a lineout to Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) to end the inning.
With one out in the fifth, Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) reached on a fielder’s choice before Payne lifted a 2-1 pitch over the first baseman’s head for a double that plated Burruss. Payne stole third and scored on Williams’ double to left center as the Eagles took an 8-4 lead and drove Samford’s second pitcher out of the ballgame.
Bowles opened the sixth with a stand-up double down the left field line and Blackburn followed with a single to right center, advancing to second on the throw. Phillips walked to load the bases with no one out as Wirnsberger walked to the plate. A wild pitch on ball one moved each base runner up and Wirnsberger hit a soft fly over the left fielder’s head plating both runs for an 11-4 cushion.
Samford poised a threat in the seventh putting a runner on third on a walk and single. A wild pitch from Beck scored Samford’s first run since the fourth inning before Schulze singled to right field and moved to third on a fielding error. Schulze scored on a Bo Smith single to centerfield as Samford cut the score to 11-7.
An Owens triple to open the seventh was unproductive as Dayne Cutrell forced two pop-ups and a fly out to end the inning unscathed.
After two scoreless innings from Samford, the Bulldogs’ offense continued to produce as Samford added another two runs in the eighth. A Gary Cramer single and Davis Harrison walk put runners on second and third after a wild pitch from reliever Bobo. Brad Moss followed with a double to center field plating Cramer before a groundout from Ballard pushed the score to 11-9 when it scored pinch runner Davis Harrison from third.
Burruss gave the Eagles two security runs, and took the runs back that were awarded in the top of the frame, with his first collegiate home run to right field. Roache stood on first after a single to right when the redshirt-freshman roped a 1-2 pitch to right field. Williams lined a double to the center field wall following and scored on an Owens single to left field as Georgia Southern took the final score of 14-9.
For Samford, Johnson went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored, while Cramer, Smith, Schulze and Trey Hayes all posted a multi-hit ballgame.
The three-game series concludes on Sunday as Georgia Southern will look for the conference sweep. First pitch is slated for 1:30 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Saturday, 17 April 2010 22:17