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GSU sidesteps SIUE

GSU sidesteps SIUE

GSU sidesteps SIUE

Georgia Southern centerfielder Josh B...

    After a disappointing loss on Friday night, Georgia Southern blew off some steam.
    The Eagles pounded out 15 hits and ran away from the Southern Illinois Edwardsville Cougars with a 14-5 win on Saturday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    The Eagles stranded 11 base runners in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Ohio.
    “We didn’t come out with the right mentality that we needed to come out with (on Friday),” GSU left fielder Stryker Brown said. “Today was a lot better. We came out hungry and aggressive, and just tried to do positive things out on the field.”
    Everyone in the starting lineup for Georgia Southern (8-2) drove in at least one run except centerfielder Josh Black, who went 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice.
    Starting pitcher Josh Wirsu (2-1) went six innings. He allowed an earned run on five hits while striking out seven.
    “I thought he got  better as he went and got into a nice rhythm there in the middle innings. He showed some poise there,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said about Wirsu. “One thing about him, he’s going to throw a lot of ground balls. Sometimes those are going to roll through the infield, like they did early.”
    The Cougars (2-7) struck first with a bit of help from GSU in the top of the first inning.
    Keaton Wright drove in the first run of the game with a two-out single, and came all the way around to score on the next at-bat when Skyler Geissinger skied a popup between the mound and first base, after it was dropped by Ryan Cleveland. Wright was crossing the plate by the time the ball hit the turf.
    The Eagles got both runs back in the second, with some help from SIUE.
    Brown (2-for-4, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBIs) got things started with a bunt single, took second on a balk, and scored on a single by Garrett Chapman. Chapman later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
    Georgia Southern took the lead for good in the fourth when Brown reached on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Ben Morgan.
    Morgan had a productive day at the plate, finishing 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, a run and an RBI. He also swiped two of the Eagles’ five stolen bases.
    “We were able to put a little bit of pressure on the defense with the running game,” Hennon said. “Overall it was definitely a much better approach.”
    SIUE starter Evan Martens made it 4.2 innings. He allowed six runs in total, four earned, on five GSU hits.
    Georgia Southern reliever Eric Alonzo pitched two perfect innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts. Caleb Pressey had a shaky ninth inning, allowing three runs on three hits before closing out the game.

SIUE 7, Ohio 3
    The Cougars won their opener on Saturday, beating Ohio 7-3 behind seven strong innings from starter Ryan Daniels, who allowed a run on eight scattered hits at J.I. Clements Stadium in Saturday's opener.   
    Ohio (3-5) burned through eight pitchers in the loss.
    SIUE hit nine doubles in the game, and put up a six spot in the eighth.
    Georgia Southern will face both teams today, beginning at 1:30 p.m., against the Cougars.
    Ryan Frederick will get the start against SIUE, and Will Middour, in his first start of the season, gets the nod against Ohio in the weekend’s final game wich will start roughly at 5 p.m.
NOTES: Against the Cougars, Georgia Southern plated at least 10 runs for the fourth time this season. … Chapman, a freshman, has hit safely in all 10 games so far in his career. Brown extended his hitting streak to eight games, and Cleveland has reached base in all 10 games this season. … Wirsu, a junior-college transfer, had his best start as an Eagle, setting a career high in innings pitched (6) and strikeouts (7). … Announced attendance was 1,092.

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

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