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Eagles drop a pair to end SoCon slate

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -—Behind a complete game performance from Cash Collins in game two and a late inning rally in game one, the Wofford

Terriers took the three-game series from the Georgia Southern Baseball team in the regular season finale. The Eagles finished sixth in the Southern Conference standings and will play Elon in game one of the SoCon Tournament.

Six scoreless one-hit innings from starter Justin Hess and a four-run lead appeared to be enough for Georgia Southern to pick up a series victory over Wofford in game one of a doubleheader. However, the Terriers had other plans and struck for seven runs in the eighth inning to post an 8-5 victory.

Wofford (22-32, 9-21) sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the eighth and scored six of the seven runs with two outs. A one-out steal of home by Konstantine Diamaduros started the rally and a two-RBI single by Eric Brenk tied the game at 4-4. Another two-RBI base knock by James Foster gave the Terriers their first lead of the game, and a single by Mac Doyle extended the lead to four runs.

The rally took starter Pete Noordsy off the hook for the loss after allowing four runs over 5.2 innings. Mason Bradley pitched 2.1 scoreless innings and picked up his first career victory in relief of Noordsy. Bradley (1-2) allowed just one hit and retired the final six batters he faced in order.

Hess allowed just one hit and four walks over 6.1 scoreless frames and was in line for a win before the bullpen allowed eight runs in the final two frames. Kyle Rowe took the loss after allowing five of the runs in the eighth inning. Rowe (6-2) allowed the runs on three hits and two walks over an inning's work.

After five scoreless innings to start the game, Georgia Southern (30-26, 15-15) struck for four runs in the sixth inning. The Eagles sent all 9 batters to the plate in the inning after a failed pickoff attempt of Scooter Williams sailed far enough down the first base line, allowing Williams to round the bases for the first run of the game. After a fly out recorded the second out of the inning, three-straight doubles followed to score two more runs.

The Eagles added a run in the 9th inning to cut Wofford's lead to three runs but were unable to come any closer to tying the game. Centerfielder James Foster dropped a two-out fly ball off the bat of Stryker Brown, allowing a run in Tyler Avera to score from second base.

A complete game four-hit performance from senior Cash Collins and a walk-off home run from James Foster completed the doubleheader sweep for Wofford in game two. The Eagles scored a first inning run but were held scoreless for the next eight frames after Collins settled into a groove.

Georgia Southern went up 1-0 in the first inning on a two-out single by Garren Palmer. However the rally was cut short after Palmer was caught stealing to end the frame.

Collins (5-7) bounced back after allowing two of his four hits in the first inning and worked around two out walks in both the second and

fourth frames. The senior left-hander retired the side in order in the fifth inning and did not face trouble again until the ninth inning.

Eric Phillips moved into scoring position with one out in the top of the ninth inning on an error by the third baseman. Palmer was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base after a fly out recorded the second out of the inning. Collins, however, coaxed a fly ball to left field to end the threat.

In the bottom of the ninth, Wofford's Eric Brenk drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position after stealing second base. Heath Durand, who had thrown 3.1 scoreless innings after coaxing a fly out for the second out of the inning, was unable to find the third out in the frame. Durand (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up the two-run homer to Foster.

Georgia Southern will return to action on Wednesday at the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C. The Eagles will play their first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. against Elon.