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Eagles sweep Lipscomb

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Georgia Southern AMR

        Back-to-back home runs in the first inning helped support Aaron Eubanks’ career-best outing as Georgia Southern completed a sweep of Lipscomb. The Eagles, improving to 11-1 at home this year, defeated the Bisons 6-2 Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.
        Eubanks (1-1), who had only 5.2 innings of work this year, recorded personal-highs of 6.1 innings pitched and six strikeouts. The junior left-hander walked one and scattered six hits, throwing 99 pitches as the Eagles improved to 16-9 overall.
        In that first inning, Jeremy Beckham drew a leadoff walk but was picked off first base. Matt Miller followed with a walk and scored when Chris Shehan hammered a shot into the trees beyond the left field fence. That was Shehan’s fifth home run, moving him into a share of the team lead, and team-leading 30th RBI. Griffin Benedict followed with his first homer this season, nailing a
shot down the right field line. It marked the first time this year Georgia Southern hit back-to-back homers.
        Making just his second career start, Eubanks gave up a single to start the game but then retired nine straight. The Bisons (13-10) hit consecutive doubles by Kevin Gavigan and Caleb Joseph to start the fourth inning, making it 3-1. Two batters later Shane Simpkins added another two-bagger, cutting the deficit in half, 3-2. First baseman A.J.
Wirnsberger made a key diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Branden Cadavid to keep the Bisons from
surely tying the game.
        Eubanks was able to bounce back after those three doubles to shut down Lipscomb.
        “I knew a strikeout would be big in that situation (one on, one out). I had a base open so I was going for a strikeout rather than a groundball (and possibly advance the runner). A.J.’s catch was huge, that helped save us from giving up a big inning,” said Eubanks.
        Pinch-hitter Jeremiah Parker started off the sixth inning getting hit by a pitch. Chris Hollis dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Parker into scoring position. Brian Pierce greeted relief pitcher Taylor Merry with a RBI double down the left field line, his fourth double of the year to extend the lead to 4-2.
        Eubanks got the first out of the seventh but gave up a double and walk.
        That prompted head coach Rodney Hennon to bring in Burt Barto. He got a flyball out to Miller in centerfield for the second out, but Allen Bouldin reached on an error to load the bases.
        Hennon went to the bullpen again, bringing in Kyle Kamppi. The sophomore right-hander enticed a groundball from Kevin Gavigan to end the threat.
        With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Hollis added a pair of insurance runs on a 2-run single. From that point, Kamppi and A.J.
Battisto closed the door on the Bisons.
        “It was very important to complete the sweep. This will keep the team positive heading into this week of practice and preparing for the home conference opener next weekend,” stated Eubanks.
        Shehan, Pierce and Kyle Blackburn had two hits apiece.
Benedict scored twice, as the 1-5 hitters accounted for five of the six runs scored. Kamppi and Battisto combined for three strikeouts and just one hit over the last 2.1 innings.
        Seven different Lipscomb players recorded a hit. Starter Brandon McClurg (2-1) gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked two and struck out six.
        The Eagles are off until Friday when they begin Southern Conference play at J.I. Clements Stadium against Furman. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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