Another day, another rain-delayed win over Davidson.
The Georgia Southern Eagles had to wait 30 minutes for lightening to pass in the bottom of the seventh inning, but completed a three-game sweep over the visiting Wildcats with a 5-2 win Monday at J.I. Clements Stadium in a series that began with Friday afternoon doubleheader that went past midnight due to thunderstorms.
For the Eagles (30-21, 17-10 Southern Conference), the win also marked the 12th-straight, 30-plus-win season since coach Rodney Hennon arrived in 2000.
"I think it’s been a sign of consistency over the years and something to feel good about," Hennon said, "but the biggest thing right now is that I like the fact that we’re playing good baseball for three-straight games."
Davidson made plenty of mistakes in Monday’s game and GSU was there to capitalize each time.
In the first inning, a deep fly ball hit by Shawn Payne (2-for-3, BB, 3 R) turned into a triple when it was misplayed by Davidson right fielder Sam Payne. An RBI sacrifice fly by Victor Roache got home the game’s first run.
The Wildcats (18-29, 8-21) answered in the second with a pair of doubles off GSU starter Matt Murray (3.2 IP, 5 H, ER, 4 K) to tie the game at 1-1, but more DC miscues gave the lead right back to the Eagles.
Two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Michael Burruss, and he reached when Wildcats second baseman James Cerbie booted a grounder, which also resulted in an Eric Phillips run and a 2-1 GSU advantage.
"We took advantage of the opportunities we had," said Hennon, whose Eagles lost five of seven before sweeping Davidson. "Down the stretch, that’s going to be very important."
A sacrifice bunt, a balk and a sacrifice fly by Scooter Williams later drove in Ben Morgan, who singled to lead off the fourth, to make it 3-1. A sac fly by Burruss in the fifth drove in Payne for a three-run advantage. Payne scored again, unearned in the seventh, for a 5-1 lead.
Winning pitcher Joe Lower (1-2) relieved Murray in the fourth, and retired each of the eight batters he faced while striking out three.
Colin Snow allowed an unearned run in the eighth, and he and Will Middour combined to finish off the Wildcats.
The Eagles won’t have time to rest, as they travel to Charleston Southern for a single game beginning today at 2 p.m.
Justin Hess (3-2, 6.32 ERA, 47 IP, 38 K) is expected to start.
The regular season concludes in Boone, N.C. at Appalachian State in a three-game SoCon series that will finalize the seeding for the 2011 Southern Conference tournament.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.