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Eagles drop series opener

    The South Alabama Jaguars scored four runs in the sixth inning and got another gem on the mound from reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week Kevin Hill to take the series opener 7-1 over the Georgia Southern Eagles at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    The Jaguars (30-17, 15-7) overcame an early 1-0 deficit and scored four runs in the sixth inning and three more in the eighth to take the first game of the matchup of second place teams in the league.
    Hill (8-0) tossed a complete game and allowed one run on five hits to pick up his eighth win of the season. The senior righthander struck out 12 batters and walked just two.
    Hill held the Eagles scoreless over the final six frames and totaled 9 of his 12 strikeouts over the final five frames. He also allowed just three base runners over that stretch.
    “You have to give South Alabama credit. They played well tonight. We hit some balls hard off of Hill early. He settled in, and I thought he got better as he went,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said. “In the sixth inning they executed the hit and run and a couple of walks in that inning really hurt us.”
    Evan Challenger scattered three hits over five scoreless frames before running into trouble in the sixth inning. Challenger walked Ryan Raspino to start the inning and got a quick first out with a pop out.
    After an error allowed Ben Gann to reach safely with one out, Bud Collura singled to right field to plate the first run of the frame. A sacrifice fly by Adam Ballew drove in the second run before Cole Gleason’s single to right field drove across the third run of the inning.
    Back-to-back walks by relief pitchers Ryan Frederick and Jason Richman scored another run before Ryan Raspino grounded out to end the inning.
    The Eagles (27-19, 16-9) got a run across in the third inning on an Aaron Mizell RBI single. Mizell plated a one-out triple from Kody Adams with his lone hit on the day. Adams also doubled to lead off the bottom of the first but was left stranded at third base.
    Cody Landford drew a leadoff walk in the seventh inning but was left stranded at second base after a sacrifice bunt from Cal Baker and back-to-back strikeouts of Adams and Mizell.
    South Alabama scored three more runs in the eighth inning on four-straight hits.