Eagles Lose Series Opener to Columbia
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern jumped out to a 5-1 lead but Columbia scored seven unanswered as the Eagles dropped an 8-5 decision Friday night (March 14) at J.I. Clements Stadium. The loss snapped the Eagles’ six-game home win streak.
Columbia struck first during the second inning. Aaron Eubanks (Moultrie/Colquitt County) hit a batter and gave up a bunt single to start the inning. Dean Forthun faked a bunt and lined a RBI single. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners then a walk loaded the bases. Eubanks responded by getting Jason Banos to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Eagles (8-7 overall) responded during their half of the third, scoring five runs. Jeremy Beckham (Griffin/Griffin) singled, stole second then scored on Phillip Porter’s (Marietta/Sprayberry) RBI double. Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) hammered a 2-run homer over the billboard in right centerfield. His team-leading sixth homer made it 3-1.
A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bear Bryant) singled and scored on Jeremiah Parker’s (Carrollton/Carrollton) RBI double. Parker took second when Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens) was hit by a pitch, third base on a throwing error by the Lions catcher and scored on Bill Purdy’s wild pitch.
The Lions scored three times to start the fifth inning. Ron Williams got his third hit in as many at-bats, a RBI single, then Mike Roberts followed with a 2-run homer that cut the Eagles’ lead to 5-4. Columbia tied it in the sixth on Jason Banos’ sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, Columbia (1-8) loaded the bases on Blake Nation (Brooks/Starr’s Mill) with no one out thanks to a single, hit batter and bunt single. Forthun lined out to Shehan in right field. He came up throwing but Henry Perkins just beat the throw home for a 6-5 lead. Nation worked out of the jam after getting a sacrifice bunt and groundout to end the inning. Columbia added a pair of RBI doubles in the eighth to extend its lead to 8-5.
Georgia Southern brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning following one-out walks to Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) and Shehan. But Shehan was picked off first base then Jonathan King (Athens, TN/McMinn County) grounded out to end the game.
The Eagles drew eight walks but had only six hits, none after the third inning. Wirnsberger had two of the team’s hits. Shehan drove in his team-leading 18th and 19th runs and walked three times.
Nation (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Eubanks allowed four runs in five innings, walking two and striking out three.
Williams finished 4-for-4 and scored two runs. Roberts had two hits, two runs and three RBI. Max Lautmann (1-0) struck out one and walked one in 1.1 innings. Joey Mizzone struck out four over the final 2.2 innings for his first save.
The series continues Saturday afternoon (March 15), first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Published on Friday, 14 March 2008 00:10