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Eagles hold off Davidson in series opener

Eagles hold off Davidson in series opener

Eagles hold off Davidson in series opener


    A two-run homer by hot-hitting first baseman T.D. Davis was the difference in the game, as Georgia Southern opened a three-game series against Davidson with a 6-4 win on Friday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    The Eagles (14-7, 6-1 Southern Conference) took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth after a back-and-forth affair.
    After being hit by a pitch for the 13th time this season and second time in the game, Scooter Williams scored the go-ahead run.
    Williams stole second, and crossed the dish to put the Eagles up, 5-4, after Chase Griffin (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs) lined a single to right centerfield.
    The Eagles added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, when designated hitter Stryker Brown (2-for-2) — who entered the game in the sixth to replace Arthur Owens — lined an RBI double down the first-base line.
    “(Brown) had a couple good at-bats for us tonight off the bench,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. “That is the one thing about this team — guys just picking each other up. Different guys, different days.”
    Davidson tied the score at 4-4 on a two-out, two-run double by Sam Foy in the top of the fifth.
    Davis continued swing his hot bat, blasting his fourth home run in as many games — a two-run shot that cleared the outfield scoreboard in the bottom of the third — to put the Eagles ahead, 4-2. The Eagles plated four runs in the inning, and the first two crossed the plate without the aid of a hit.
    Kyle Streicher and Williams were each hit by a Ryan Lowe pitch and Cole Watson walked.
    Ben Morgan and Griffin hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to right field to drive in Streicher and Williams and knot the score at 2-2.
    Davidson opened the scoring in the top of the first, plating two runs on two outs.
    Forrest Brandt walked, and cleanup hitter Andrew Barna hit the first Sam Howard pitch he saw off the scoreboard in left center.
    Howard (4-2) got the win, despite allowing all four Davidson runs on six hits. He struck out seven in 6.1 innings of work. He set Davidson down in order in the second, third and sixth innings.
    Howard left the game with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh.
    Justin Hess, who earned his third save of the season, came in and walked the first batter he faced, but got forced David Daniels to hit a grounder to second base that Watson tured, 4-6-3, to get out of the inning.
“Justin really picked us up out of the bullpen,” Hennon said of Hess, who struck out three batters in the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday’s 5-4 win at No. 11 Georgia Tech in his last appearance. “We did just enough to win the game tonight. We were very fortunate to win. Davidson did not make any mistakes.”
    Hess struck out four.
    Lowe threw 6.1 innings for Davidson, striking out seven and allowing five runs on five GSU hits.
    Saturday’s game, which was originally scheduled for 2:30 p.m., has been moved to 12:30 p.m., in anticipation of afternoon showers.
    Jason Richman (3-1, 6.00 ERA) will start for the Eagles.
NOTES: Davidson hasn’t won a series against Georgia Southern since 1999. Hennon has never lost a series against the Wildcats, and GSU has won 22 straight games against Davidson dating back to March 31, 2006. … Announced attendance was 866. … The Eagles are on a four-game winning streak, tied for their longest of the season. They have won seven of their last eight.

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

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