Georgia Southern's baseball team came from behind twice in the late innings and walked off with a pair of wins in a doubleheader with the Radford Highlanders on Saturday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Eagles won both games by a score of 7-6 and had to go to the bottom of the ninth inning in the first, and to the 11th inning in the second, to secure the series victory.
Radford scored three runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-4 lead on four straight singles, but GSU rallied in the bottom frame to win, 7-6.
The Eagles scored a pair of two-out runs on a single from Clint Clark and a hit by pitch of Ben Morgan. Victor Roache plated the first run of the inning on a single through the left side.
Blown saves by both closers erased solid starts from both staff aces and neither factored into the decision. Chris Beck was on the line for the win after allowing just two runs on seven hits over seven frames, but Sam Howard (1-0) picked up the victory after the blown save by Josh Stevenson. Radford's Abram Williams (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing the three ninth-inning runs.
Eddie Butler held GSU to three hits through the first five innings, but the Eagles finished the game with 11 hits. Jake Palese gave up four of those hits but lifted the bullpen with three innings of work in relief, and allowed just one run. Butler walked six batters but gave up just one earned run and was forced to exit after throwing 103 pitches.
Radford cut the lead to just one run after scoring two runs in the eighth inning. A double by Matt Mack drove in the first run for the Highlanders, and Mack later scored on a sacrifice fly from Cory Turner. Matt Hillsinger led off the inning with a single and later scored the first run of the inning.
GSU took a 2-1 lead in the third inning with a pair of unearned runs and added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead by three runs. A solo homer from Chase Griffin, the first of his collegiate career, led off the sixth inning and a leadoff walk in the fifth inning came around to score on a ground out by T.D. Davis.
GSU trailed by two runs going into the final three frames but scored twice to tie and walked-off for the second time Saturday with a 7-6 win in the 11th. Zac Lenns came up big off the bench and drove in the tying run in the eighth inning and scored the winning run in the 11th. The Eagles forced a blown save by Abram Williams, his second of the day, in the process.
Another back-and-forth affair kept both starters out of the decision. Jarret Leverett (1-0) picked up his first win of the year with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out three of the five batters he faced in a bounce-back performance from Wednesday. Radford's Jason Patten (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead run after two solid innings out of the bullpen.
GSU snapped Radford's streak of scoring first with a first-inning run on a single by Eric Phillips. Phillips, who went 3-for-5, made the Highlanders pay for a leadoff walk of Scooter Williams.
Radford came right back with three unanswered runs over the next two innings to take a 3-1 lead. The Eagles countered with two runs in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from Tyler Avera. The Highlanders jumped back ahead with two runs in the sixth inning and led 6-4 on a double from Josh Gardiner and a ground out by Zach Costello.
GSU tied the contest at 6 with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. GSU scored in the seventh on an errant throw during an attempt to turn a double play. Davis scored from second after a base hit to center and a single from Griffin. Brent Pugh scored the tying run in the eighth inning, after leading off with a single.
Radford was unable to record an out in the 11th and loaded the bases with an intentional walk of Davis. Griffin drew three quick balls from Patten and took a fourth on a 3-1 count to plate the winning run. Lenns led off the inning with a single to right field and Phillips reached with a base hit to move a runner into scoring position.
The Eagles will try for a series sweep at 1:30 p.m. today. The game can be heard on 103.7 FM.