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Eagles soar past Terriers

 SPARTANBURG, S.C. Using 11 hits – three extra-base hits – and eight walks, Georgia Southern dropped Wofford, 10-8, to take the series opening game Friday night at Russell C. King Field. Eagle starter Jake Brown logged 6.2 IP while allowing only six hits and four runs for the win.

 GSU (10-9, 3-1) got on the board early, batting around in the third, scoring five runs on three hits. Kevin Bowles doubled for the second time this season and was driven in on a Kyle Blackburn single. Senior A.J. Wirnsberger drew a walk, moving Blackburn to second before both runners advanced a base on a John Cornely balk. A single on a 0-2 count off the bat of Steve Cochrane plated Blackburn from third base for a 2-0 Eagle lead. Cornely proceeded to issue three consecutive walks as GS took a 4-0 lead and added a final run on an Arthur Owens sacrifice fly to right field.

 Bowles scored an unearned run in the fourth after reaching on an error and scoring on an Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) fly out to center field. Wofford (6-10, 1-3) put a run on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the frame with a solo home run off the bat of Mac Doyle to left center, drawing the score to 6-1.  

 After two scoreless innings, GS expanded its lead in the seventh after Terrier Cash Collins was relieved by Alex Wilson to start the inning. Cochrane took a free pass on four straight balls from Wilson to lead off the inning. Four batters later, Owens singled to score Cochrane as the Eagles took a comfortable 7-1 lead.

 An error proved costly in the home half of the seventh as Wofford scored three runs on four hits, stranding three base runners and driving starter Brown out of the game. The Terriers opened the inning with a David Roney single before Matt Moore doubled with one out, putting runners on second and third. Brown forced a line out for the second out of the inning, but two unearned runs scored on the next batter who reached on an error by the shortstop. Dexter Bobo entered in relief, but an RBI single from Doyle scored Alex Lee as the Terriers cut the deficit to 7-4.

 GSU snagged three of those unearned runs back in the eighth with a Blackburn homer to left center before Phillips launched a two-run blast to center field for a 10-4 Eagle lead.

But GSU watched its lead diminish as Wofford scored four runs on two hits to end the eighth. A walk led off the inning followed by a Josh McKinney single and Moore double that scored Roney. Bobo struck out James Foster before Colin Snow replaced the Eagle pitcher and immediately picked up a strike out for out two. But a wild pitched allowed Josh McKinney to cross the plate before a grounder to third base scored two unearned runs on an errant throw as the Terriers sliced the score to 10-8.

Roman Grimaldi singled in the final inning as GSU poised a threat when the senior moved to third on two sacrifice bunts. But Bobby Streisel closed out the inning for Wofford and Snow struck out the side in the bottom half for save number three on the year.

 Brown picked up the win to improve to 3-2 this season with Cornely receiving the loss after throwing 5.0 innings, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits.

 Blackburn finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Bowles went 2-for-6 scoring twice. Phillips was 2-for-4 with three RBI as Grimaldi was also 2-for-4 and Owens was 2-for-3. For the Terriers, Kyle Behrendt was 2-for-4, Doyle went 3-for-5 and Moore was 2-for-4.

With the threat of inclement weather on Sunday, the teams will play a double header on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. Coverage of the games will begin at 1:30 p.m. with Georgia Southern Radio Network’s Ryan Chambers calling all the action on WPMX 102.9 FM.