Sam Howard struck out eight batters over a career-high eight innings as Georgia Southern defeated Wofford 7-2 in the Southern Conference season opener.
Howard (3-1) allowed 2 runs — 1 earned — on five hits and one walk to earn his third win of the season. The sophomore lefthander stranded the lead off runner in the second, fourth and eighth innings and struck out the side in the fifth.
Georgia Southern (7-6, 1-0) scored four runs over the first two innings, including a bases-loaded single from Brent Pugh in the second inning, to take an early 4-1 lead. Howard held Wofford (7-7, 0-1) to one run over the next six innings, and Evan Challenger threw a perfect inning to close out the game.
Ben Morgan tallied four of the Eagles' eight hits and finished with three RBIs and a double. Brent Pugh added two RBIs and a pair of walks
to go along with his base hit. Josh Hyman and Seth Neely tallied two hits each for the Terriers.
Brandon Yarusi (0-2) was handed the loss after allowing five runs on six hits over six innings. Yarusi struck out nine batters including the side in the first and second innings.
After Wofford took an 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Georgia Southern tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run by Chase Griffin.
The Eagles added three runs in the second inning on the single by Brent Pugh and a two-out infield hit by Ben Morgan. Yarusi struck out Robbie Dodds to start the inning, but Arthur Owens recorded a base hit to start the rally. Stryker Brown and Tyler Avera followed with walks to load the bases for Pugh, who deposited a base hit into left center field.
Georgia Southern added a single run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly from T.D. Davis and struck for two more in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the final five-run lead. Back-to-back lead off walks by Owens and Brown came around to score on Morgan's fourth hit of the night.
Wofford scored their second run of the game in sixth inning. Demetrius Jennings reached on an error to lead off the frame and scored on a
two-out single from Hyman.
The series continues tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. with Jason Richman on the mound. Wofford will counter with Jesse Morris.