ATLANTA — The Georgia Southern Eagles never surrendered an early 2-0 lead and knocked off #11 Georgia Tech 5-4 at Russ Chandler Stadium on Tuesday night.
Georgia Southern (13-7) loaded the bases in the first inning and scored two runs off of a single by Arthur Owens and a walk from Brent Pugh. Ben Morgan and Chase Griffin both walked before Robbie Dodds recorded a two-out infield single to load the bases. Owens followed with a base hit to right field before Pugh walked.
“It was a big win for our team against a very good Georgia Tech team. A team that has been red hot,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said. “The big thing tonight is that we avoided that big inning. They earned every run that they got.”
Matt McCall (2-0) earned his second win of the season in relief of starter Evan Challenger, who allowed one run over two innings. McCall allowed one run over four innings and struck out two batters. The junior righthander retired the first six batters he faced in order before allowing a single to Georgia Tech's (17-3) Dyle Dore in the fifth inning. Dore later scored on a bases loaded walk by Zane Evans.
Justin Hess struck out three batters over the final 1.2 innings to earn the save. Hess recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth. He allowed a run on back-to-back hits but struck out Daniel Palka to end the contest.
“We got outstanding pitching tonight from Evan Challenger, starting off the game. Matt McCall did a nice job coming in behind him. I thought Sam Howard was sharp out of the bullpen, and Justin Hess closed the game out,” Hennon said.
Jared Jillison (0-1) was handed his first decision of the season after surrendering the first two runs of the contest. Jillison allowed five hits and walked three over two innings.
Georgia Southern starter Evan Challenger allowed one run on four hits over two innings.
The Yellow Jackets cut into GSU's 2-0 lead with a single run in the second inning. Dore doubled down the left field line to score Mott Hyde, who singled with one out.
The Eagles extended their lead to two runs after a lead off walk by Cole Watson came around to score. Chase Griffin dropped a ball into the left field corner with two outs for a RBI triple.
Georgia Southern scored what would prove to be the game-winning run on a two-run homer by T.D. Davis in the seventh inning. Griffin walked with one out before Davis lifted a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season.
The Eagles return home for a weekend Southern Conference series against Davison. The three-game series opens on Friday night. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.