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Eagles alone in first
042311 GSU BASEBALL 04 web
Teammates welcome Georgia Southern right fielder Victor Roache (28) back to the dugout after his solo home run in the fifth against Elon at Clements Stadium Saturday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

By MATT YOGUS

myogus@statesboroherald.com

 

Andy Moye wasn’t trying to fool anybody.

The senior Georgia Southern pitcher pounded the strike zone through seven shutout innings of work, and the Elon Phoenix never got anything going.

The Eagles took the three-game series with a 6-0 win over Elon in Game 2 Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.

The Phoenix (25-16, 14-6 Southern Conference) entered the series with sole possession of first place in the conference despite a .252 team batting average, and Moye (5-1) struck out seven while challenging Elon to beat the Eagles with their bats.

It worked.

"That’s what [pitching coach B.J.] Green has been preaching to us," Moye said. "You go right at these guys and get ahead in the count, and they’ll get themselves out most of the time. [Green] did a good job calling pitches, Tom [Richardson] did a great job behind the plate. I worked ahead, used my off-speed stuff late in the count, and it worked out for me."

Elon sprinkled five hits on Moye but never more than one in an inning, and didn’t get past second in the game. The Phoenix stranded three runners at second, and Moye faced the minimum three times, including striking out the side in the fifth.

The start came after GSU’s first week without a mid-week game.

"That week off definitely helped me," Moye said. "Last week, I hadn’t been on the mound in a couple of weeks and I was just leaving the ball up. That’s why my pitch count was so high. Being able to get that week off really helped, and my arm felt great."

Georgia Southern (24-15, 13-4) took advantage of plenty of Elon’s defensive miscues, as all four runs off of starting pitcher Thomas Girdwood were unearned.

Third baseman Brent Pugh started the scoring in the bottom of the third. He walked, took second on a passed ball, took third on a wild pitch and scored on another passed ball.

The wheels came off two innings later, when Shawn Payne (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) got things started with a one-out double. He took third on an errant pickoff attempt, and scored on a booted RBI grounder off the bat of Michael Burruss.

Burruss stole second with the help of a bad throw from Elon catcher Alex Swim, and took third on a fly out by Eric Phillips. He scored on the second wild pitch by Girdwood (6 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 4 K).

Victor Roache, who entered the game leading Division I with 18 homers on the season, blasted a solo shot with two outs to make it 4-0 after five.

Payne drilled a solo shot to left center for his fourth home run of the season in the seventh, and made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the eighth that drove in Ben Morgan, who reached on a one-out double.

Joe Lower slammed the door for GSU, allowing a hit in two innings of relief while striking out two.

The Eagles will look for the sweep today at 1:30 p.m. The starting pitcher has yet to be determined.

NOTES

 

 

: In honor of Military Appreciation Week, the Eagles donned camouflage caps for the second game in a row. The festivities will continue through today’s contest. … The GSU NCA national championship cheerleader squad was recognized Saturday before first pitch. … Elon coach Mike Kennedy was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a call. He will serve a one-game suspension today. Kennedy entered the series with 499 career wins as a head coach. Should Elon win today, Kennedy would still be credited with his 500th win.

 

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