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Bears pound Georgia Southern

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Bears pound Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern's Ben Morgan reacts after striking out to close out the third inning Wednesday against Mercer.

Garren Palmer broke up a no hitter in the fifth with a single and hit his first-career homer in the seventh, and that was about it for Georgia Southern.

Mercer put up a six spot in the second inning and kept the hits coming as the Bears knocked off GSU 14-1 Wednesday at J.I. Clements Stadium.

Drew Johnson (0-1) got his first-career start for Georgia Southern (18-12), lasting 1.1 innings and allowing five runs on four Mercer hits.

He set the Bears (22-10) down in order to start the game, with a hot shot to third fielded by Brent Pugh for the first out and a pair of diving catches in center by Shawn Payne to end the inning, but the flood gates opened in the second.

A pair of singles led off the top of the second, and and Derrick Workman loaded the bases when he hit a grounder back to Johnson and reached on a fielder’s choice when Johnson couldn’t get the lead out at third.

The scoring started with an RBI single by D.J. Johnson (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) and a two-run single by Joe Winker. Billy Burns doubled in two runs off GSU reliever Joe Lower, and stole third on the next at bat. Catcher Tom Richardson’s throw to third got away into left and allowed Burns to score and make it 6-0 after two.

The Bears added another run in the third, four in the fifth and one in the sixth, before Palmer hit a solo shot in the seventh to make it 13-2.

Palmer’s single in the fifth broke up MU starter Brandon Barker’s not hit effort. Barker pitched five full, allowing just the one hit, walking one and striking out four.

The lone run was hit off Jacob Matthews.

Mercer answered the homer immediately, with a solo shot in the top of the eighth by Thomas Carroll that provided the final margin. The Bears got homers from Carroll and Austin Barrett — a two-run shot in the sixth.

The Eagles used six different pitchers, and Chris Myers was the only one able to set down Mercer in order, facing three batters in the top of the ninth.

Georgia Southern finished the game with eight hits, including two each from Eric Phillips and Michael Burruss.

The Eagles will return to action Friday at 6:05 p.m. in Beckley, W.V. against the Marshall Thundering Herd for the first of a three-game series. Chris Beck (4-0, 3.00 ERA) is expected to start Game 1.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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