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Eagles get the sweep

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Freshman Victor Roache launched two home runs and Matt Murray tied a career-high 11 strikeouts as Georgia Southern took a three-game sweep with a 9-7 win over Davidson Saturday. 

The win marked the 11th consecutive victory for the Eagles, marking the longest win streak since they won 14-straight in 2005.

            Murray was awarded the win improving to 6-2 after throwing six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) to go along with his 11 strikeouts. Davidson starter Ryan Overcash was charged with the loss going seven innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits.  

            Eric Phillips finished the contest going 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI. Four different Eagles posted two hits including Roache, who picked up four RBIs with his two home runs.

            For the Wildcats (19-29, 5-22 Southern Conference), Seth Freeman, Andrew Barna and J.P. Craven all picked up two hits to pace the Davidson offense. Sam Payne collected two RBI on 1-for-3 hitting, while Freeman tallied three RBI on a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth.

            Davidson held an early lead using two sacrifice flies in the first two innings as the Wildcats collected three hits, while holding the Eagles hitless until two outs in the third. Overcash retired eight straight before the Eagles threatened in the bottom of the third inning loading the bases on two singles and a hit batsman. Kyle Blackburn quickly evened the score with a single to left field, plating Randy J. Williams and Shawn Payn. GSU (33-19, 19-8) took a 3-2 lead in the next at-bat using a Phillips base hit up the middle.

            Roache homered for the sixth time this season roping a solo shot to right-center before Williams followed three batters later with his third long ball of the season handing the Eagles a three-run cushion, 5-2, in the fourth.

            After scoring in the first two innings, Murray sat the Wildcats down with a stretch of eight strikeouts in 11 batters, including the side in the fifth. But after three scoreless innings, Davidson pushed one across in the sixth with a leadoff single from Drew Gadaire and RBI single from Andrew Barna, making it a two-run ballgame, 5-3.

            With Murray’s work done, Davidson cut the score to 5-4 in the seventh with a RBI single from Davidson’s Payne, which scored Coleman Barron who reached on a free pass to open the inning. The inning was closed with Payne caught stealing at second.

Barna singled in the eighth with one out, but Phillips robbed Casey Singelbaum of a base hit on a lineout to shortstop turned into a double play catching Barna at first to end the inning.

            GSU added four insurance runs in the ninth frame using a three-run blast from Roache. Shawn Payne (38 for 39 in stolen bases this season) was caught stealing in the ninth inning after reaching on a base hit to open the inning.

Kevin Bowles followed with a walk before Blackburn singled to put two runners on base. Phillips drew a walk to load the bases with one out and A.J. Wirnsberger picked up a RBI with a fielder’s choice that forced Phillips out at second to set up Roache’s second homer of the game.

Seth Freeman made it interesting picking up a three-run home run of his own in the home half of the frame. With runners on first and second, Freeman drove the first pitch over the left field wall slicing the score to 9-7. Closer Dexter Bobo, who entered to start the ninth, closed out the game striking out Payne swinging.

            Georgia Southern makes its last road trip of the regular season on Tuesday, traveling to Jacksonville to face the Dolphins in a 6:30 p.m. matchup.