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Six-run ninth lifts Eagle baseball

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Georgia Southern erupted for six runs in the top of the ninth inning, rallying for a 13-9 win at North Florida Wednesday. The Eagles (5-2) won their fourth straight while UNF fell to 0-4.
    Down 9-7 to start the frame, Brian Pierce started the
ninth with a single through the right side. He took second on a
wild pitch, and two batters later Jeremy Beckham hit a grounder up the middle that shortstop Mycal Jones could not field, allowing Pierce to score. Matt Miller followed with a game-tying RBI double. Mike Economos reached on an infield error then A.J. Wirnsberger was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
    Griffin Benedict drew a walk to bring home the go-ahead run. A RBI groundout from Chris Shehan followed by a two-run double from Phillip Porter capped the rally.
    Southern took advantage of a walk and hit batter to start the second inning. Economos drew a leadoff walk then Wirnsberger was hit by a pitch from freshman Gordon Lott. Benedict dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Shehan brought home a run off a groundout. Porter ripped a
two-out single to right center, spotting the Eagles to a 2-0 lead.

Key hits with two outs spurred a four-run fifth inning for the Eagles.
Shehan singled to start then Porter reached on an infield single. Pierce
laid down his team-leading fourth sacrifice bunt to advance both
runners. On a 3-2 count with two outs, Beckham ripped a two-run double in
front of Dandridge in right field before Economos drilled a two-run
double into the left field gap, extending the lead to 6-2.

Damon Olinto hit a two-out solo homer in the fifth, cutting the Eagles’
lead to 6-3. A hustle play by Shehan scored another two-out run for
Georgia Southern. Pierce dropped a single down the right field line, and
with Shehan running from first base all the way was able to score on the
play.

In the seventh, the Eagle bullpen could not hold onto the lead. With one
out, T.J. Thompson lined a RBI double, an error allowed Paul Morales to
reach and Preston Hale hit an infield single which tied the score at
7-all. Charlie Strohecker came on in relief. The
freshman struck out a batter and got a ground out fielder’s choice to
end the Ospreys’ threat.

UNF took a 9-7 lead in the eighth when Belyea hammered a two-run shot with
two down off Strohecker (3-0). The freshman right-hander gave up the two
runs on one hit in 1.2 innings but earned the win. Kyle Kamppi struck out two while closing the door in the ninth.
Porter finished 3-for-5 with three RBI. Shehan and Pierce had two hits
apiece. Beckham tallied three RBI and scored two runs.
The Eagles return home for a three-game series against New Jersey Tech.
Friday night’s first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., then 1:30
p.m. starts slated for Saturday and Sunday.

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