The Georgia Southern Eagles had the frustration of an eight-game losing streak building up.
Friday against Elon in J.I. Clements Stadium, it all came out.
All the Phoenix could do was watch as GSU pounded out 15 hits and sent every batter across the plate at least once, as the Eagles won for the first time since April 9, in a 15-4 rout.
“It feels really good to be back in the ‘W’ column,” said GSU pitcher starting Justin Hess, who earned the win and struck out 10 in 6.1 innings. “The hitters made it really easy on me today. They gave me a big lead, which allowed me to attack the zone, and we went on from there.”
The flood gates opened in the second inning when the Eagles (22-19, 11-11 Southern Conference) started the frame with five-consecutive hits. Kyle Streicher and Robbie Dodds both hit two-run doubles in the inning and the Eagles took a 6-2 lead.
Elon (22-22, 14-8) didn't record an out in the second before starting pitcher Dylan Clark was replaced by Jacob Baker, who got the Phoenix out of the inning without further damage. Clark allowed six runs on seven hits.
Tyler Avera (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) got things started in the first with a two-run double of his own.
The Eagles plated three more in the third and fourth innings, but the wheels really came off for Elon in the fifth, when GSU scored six more runs, due in large part to the wild arm of Jacob Baker.
Baker threw a wild pitch, walked five Eagles and hit another on the way to a six-run inning in which GSU recorded only three hits.
Hess (4-4) allowed two runs on six hits, including a solo home run by designated hitter Chris King in the second. It was the only earned run allowed by Hess.
Evan Challenger finished the game, striking out five over the final 2.2 innings.
“We were [attacking] off balance pretty well mixing up fastballs and curveballs,” Hess said, “and we were doing a pretty good job of that overall — making them chase our pitch late in the count.”
Brandon Kacer, the fourth pitcher Elon sent to the mound, allowed only one hit and struck out five over three scoreless innings to end the game.
Jason Richman will start today's game. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m.
NOTES: All of GSU's starters scored at least once, and leadoff hitter Stryker Brown (3), Robbie Dodds (2), Tyler Avera (2), Ben Morgan (2) and Kyle Streicher (2) all crossed the plate multiple times. ... Brown and Ben Morgan each went 3-for-5. ... The Eagles scored 15 runs without the aid of a homer. ... Announced attendance was 1,200.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.