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Eagles squeeze by Citadel

Bulldogs not happy with game three final call

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    When Richard Jones’ three-run shot sailed out of the park to knot the game at 5-5 in the top of the ninth, no one in the Eagle dugout seemed too worried.
    “I knew there was no way we were going to 10 (innings),” said Georgia Southern right-hander starter Andy Moye, who pitched brilliantly Sunday.
    Moye was right, and Eagle first baseman Jeremiah Parker drove in Ty Wright for the game and series-winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to lift GSU to a 6-5 victory over The Citadel at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    As the Eagles mobbed Wright behind home plate, Bulldog coach Fred Jordan argued he wasn’t safe, but the call stood and the Eagles (28-19, 12-9) won their third-straight SoCon set.
    Wright, GSU’s leadoff hitter, was on board after being hit by a pitch to open the frame. Phillip Porter advanced Wright with a sacrifice bunt then The Citadel (24-23, 12-12) intentionally walked slugger Chris Shehan and brought in Matt Crim, the Friday night starter making his first relief appear ance this season.
    Crim walked Griffin Benedict to load the bases and Parker followed with the deciding fielder’s choice, which rolled down the third-base line. Crim was credited with both Citadel losses this weekend.
    “It’s nice to be in a spot like that where you can win the game,” said Parker, who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of walks. “I knew we could do it, especially with the top of the lineup due up.”
    Georgia Southern was clinging to a 5-2 lead when Jones tied the game off closer Blake Nation to mark his third-career multi-home run game. Jones also hit a solo homer to center in the fourth.
    Moye turned in the best performance of his young career, tossing a season-high 6 2/3 innings, striking out a career-best eight and allowing two earned runs on seven hits. He got a no-decision.
    Moye held the Bulldogs scoreless in the first for the first time all weekend and didn’t give up a run until Jones’ one-out homer in the fourth.
    “We needed somebody to step up and pitch, and Andy showed he could do it,” Parker said.
    Center fielder David Richardson put the Eagles on the board in the second when he launched his second two-run homer in as many days to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. GSU went up 4-0 in the third on back-to-back run-scoring singles by Parker and A.J. Wirnsberger. In the fifth, Wirnsberger brought home Parker with an RBI double to make it 5-1.
    GSU turned to Nation in the seventh, and the 6-foot-8 junior needed just one pitch to get the Eagles out of the two-out, bases-loaded jam. Nation enticed Chris McGuiness into a chopper to Parker, who fielded the grounder and tagged first for the out. Nation (3-3) struck out the side in the eighth and earned the win, allowing two earned runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings.
    Wirnsberger added two hits for GSU, while Jeremy Beckham, Wright, Porter, Shehan and Richardson had one hit each. Sonny Meade led the Bulldogs with a three-hit day, and Matt Arnold, Sid Fallaw and Jones had two hits apiece.
    Georgia Southern steps out of conference play to host Mercer today at 2 p.m. and will resume SoCon action with a weekend series against UNC Greensboro beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at J.I. Clements.
Notes: Shehan has four of GSU’s five intentional walks this season. … Citadel reliever Drew Mahaffey set GSU down in order in the eighth and has retired the last 11 batters he’s faced dating back to April 15.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.
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