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Eagles blank Furman in series opener

Southern Conference Baseball Standings
Team                     SoCon    All        Stk  GB

Davidson               15-5        25-14    L-2    —
Western Carolina   14-4        30-14    W-4    —
Samford                 11-8        27-19    W-1    3.5
Elon                         12-10    26-19    W-1    4
Georgia Southern    11-11    29-19    W-1    5
Appalachian State    9-9        16-27    L-3    5
UNC Greensboro    7-9        20-20    L-1     6
Furman                   7-11        18-26    L-1    7
Wofford                   5-13        23-23    L-3     9
The Citadel              5-16      19-26    W-1    10

Friday's Scores
    Georgia Southern 6, Furman 0
    Western Carolina 10, Appalachian State 9
    Elon 8, Davidson 5
    Samford 16, UNC Greensboro 3
    The Citadel 8, Wofford 1   

    GREENVILLE, S.C. — Josh Wirsu tossed 6.2 scoreless frames in his first Friday night start of the season to help the Georgia Southern Eagles to a 6-0 series-opening win over the Furman Paladins.
    Kody Adams opened the game by drawing a walk from Furman's (18-26, 7-11) starter Matt Solter and quickly reached third base after a failed pick off attempt sailed into foul territory down the right field line. Aaron Mizell drove in Adams with a one-out infield single to give Georgia Southern (29-19, 11-11) an early lead.
    “It was definitely a good start to the weekend. Kody Adams does a nice job right out of the gate giving us a good at bat to start things. Aaron Mizell did a nice job of getting him in from third base,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said.
    Wirsu went right to work with the lead and retired eight of the first nine batters he faced and allowed only two base runners and one hit through the first three frames. Wirsu loaded the bases in the fourth inning but coaxed a double play from Jordan Simpson to end the inning.
    The junior righthander faced another bases loaded jam in the sixth inning but got Simpson again, this time on a strikeout to end the threat.

Wirsu held the Paladins to four hits, walked five and struck out nine batters including the side in the fifth inning on 128 pitches. Wirsu (9-3) picked up his ninth win of the season and pitched into the seventh inning before exiting after a strikeout of pinch hitter Jake Kinsley.

“Josh Wirsu was just terrific tonight. I thought he really made some big pitches when they did threaten him in some big situations. We turned a big double play behind him,” Hennon said.

Solter (1-5) allowed four runs – three earned – on six hits and three walks and took the loss. Solter struck out six batters and tossed six innings on 101 pitches.

The shutout for GSU was the second of the season.

The Eagles tallied 10 hits with two each coming from Adams, Mizell and Garrett Chapman. Adams extended GSU's 1-0 lead with a two RBI double in the fifth inning and also singled in the eighth inning. Hunter Thomas walked twice, scored a run and drove in a run with a single in the eighth.

“We had some big at-bats. I thought Hunter Thomas down in the nine hole did some good things for us. It was a good team win and a nice complete game to start the series,” Hennon said.

Chapman put the Eagles up 5-0 in the sixth inning with a RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Ben Morgan laced a ball over the fence in left field for his fourth home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The series continues tomorrow at 4 p.m. Sam Howard will take the mound for the Eagles and will face the Paladins' Jacques de Gruy.