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Eagles all over Furman
GSU takes series with 11-1 win
031211 GSU BASEBALL 03 web

    Furman struck first after plating the game’s leadoff runner, but after a five spot in the third inning, Georgia Southern put it on cruise control.
    The Eagles pounded out 20 hits on the way to an 11-1 win to take the series in Game 2 against the Paladins Saturday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    After losing three out of four the previous week, the Eagles (10-5, 2-0 Southern Conference) have won three in a row, out-scoring opponents 25-2 in the stretch including a 7-0 win over No. 1 Florida and a 7-1 win Friday against the Paladins (6-10, 1-3)
    “It’s great putting hitting and pitching together,” said Michael Burruss, who went 3-for-5 with three runs and started in left field before finishing the game behind the plate. “Holding a team to two runs in two games and scoring 18, that’s an awesome feeling. Offense and defense is working together, and it’s going pretty good right now.”
    Josh Adams (4-1) got another deep start Saturday, throwing 5.2 innings, allowing a run on five Furman hits and striking out three.
    Joe Lower picked up his first-career save, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up only one hit.
    Eric Phillips reached base in each of his five trips to the plate. He went 4-for-4 with a walk, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs.
    Phillips played second base for the third-straight game after playing shortstop in the first eight games before an injury forced him into the designated hitter spot last week.
    Freshman Ben Morgan (2-for-5) has picked up the slack at short.
    “It’s different playing second base,” said Phillips. “The ball comes off the bat different, but I feel comfortable at second with [Morgan] over at short or him at second and me at short. It’s all about working together.”
    The Eagles also showed off their small ball, with Scooter Williams laying down  pair of sacrifice bunts, cleanup-hitting first baseman dropping down another and Williams, Phillips and Burruss reaching on infield singles.
    “Our big emphasis is on hitting with a two-strike approach — put the ball in play and making things happen,” said Burruss. “When you put pressure on the defense, usually good things happen.”
    Three of GSU’s five third-inning runs were helped out in large part by four singles, the Cochrane sacrifice and a Shawn Payne double, but two came the easy way.
    Andy Moye (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), who is projected to start on the mound today for the Eagles, homered for the second time in as many days.
    Furman’s Nate Smith (0-3) took the loss, going 3.1 innings. He allowed 11 hits and nine runs, all of which were earned.
    Georgia Southern will look for the sweep today at 1:30 p.m.
NOTES: Former Georgia Southern coach Jack Stallings was honored at the game and threw out the first pitch. Tickets were $1 in honor of Stallings’ retired No. 1 jersey. … Announced attendance was 2,121. … Payne extended his reached-base streak to 44 games. Burruss extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

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