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Eagle Baseball wins finale over UGA
GS baseball
Georgia Southern starting pitcher Braden Hays fires to the plate against Georgia at J. I. Clements Stadium Saturday.

In an early season that has been plagued by a lack of offense for the Georgia Southern baseball team, a weekend series against a nationally-ranked Georgia squad began with many of the same struggles before ending on an ironically high note.

The Eagles dropped the first two games of the series in 3-1 and 4-2 losses, respectively.

Georgia Southern trailed 6-3 entering the sixth inning of Saturday's finale, only to explode for seven runs in what became a 10-7 win.

If the outburst was surprising, what was even crazier was that the Eagles (4-6) mounted their huge comeback inning without the benefit of any hits.

UGA (9-2) used a pair of pitchers to reach the sixth inning before Christian Ryder entered from the bullpen. Ryder retired Jason Swan with his first pitch before hitting Matt Anderson and walking Austin Thompson.  

Ryder was relieved by Jack Gowen, who walked Nolan Tressler to load the bases. Gowen followed that by hitting Steven Curry and walking Blake Evans, both of which drove in runs for the Eagles.

Hunter Goodman was the next arm out of the pen and he fared no better. Goodman plunked Noah Searcy to tie the game at 6-6. He recorded a strikeout to notch the second out of the frame, but Tyler Martin waited out a walk to give the Eagles their first lead of the series.

In the final blunder of the inning that ultimately provided Georgia Southern with the winning run, UGA third baseman Aaron Schunk fielded a grounder by Swan and fired wide of first base. By the time the chaos ended, Swan stood on third — the bases cleared — and the Eagles had their seven runs without the benefit of a single hit in the inning.

Georgia Southern starter Daniel Collins was chased off after 3.2 innings. David Johnson allowed two runs over 2.2 innings of work and was the beneficiary of the crazy bottom of the sixth, earning his first win of the season.

Hayden Harris relieved Johnson with one out in the top of the seventh and was able to go the rest of the way for the Eagles. Harris allowed just one hit and struck out a pair in earning his first save of 2019.

Georgia struck early as Cam Shepherd led off the game with a double and scored on a Riley King single. Schunk and Patrick Sullivan added RBI singles in the frame for the early 3-0 lead.

Martin smacked a two-run double to pull the Eagles within 3-2 in the third. UGA added a run in the fourth and another in the fifth when L.J. Talley hit a solo home run.

The Eagles matched the Bulldogs with a run in the bottom of the fifth before the sixth inning craziness ensued.

Georgia Southern returns to action Tuesday as the Eagles host Mercer with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.