After picking up just two wins on a seven-game road trip, returning to J.I. Clements Stadium was just what the Georgia Southern Baseball team needed. The Eagles were 10-3 at home since March 4th coming into the game but had not played in Statesboro since April 15th. Scooter Williams provided a walk-off single in the 9th inning to secure their 16th home victory in a 2-1 win over the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.
Georgia Southern (25-21) tallied eight hits but left 9 runners on base. Starting with a solid outing from Sam Howard, who gave the Eagles four scoreless innings, the pitching staff held Charleston Southern (16-28) to seven hits and stranded 9 runners.
Hunter Thomas scored the game-winning run on Williams' two-out single through the left side of the infield. Thomas walked with one-out and stole second base during Eric Phillips' at-bat. The freshman scored from second base sliding in head first ahead of the throw from Walt Quattlebaum.
Williams' third hit of the game gave Jarret Leverett his third win of the season. Leverett (3-1) did not allow a hit over two scoreless frames and struck out a pair of batters. Earlier in the game Williams picked up his 9th consecutive hit, but his streak ended five hits shy of tying the NCAA record after he grounded out to the pitcher in the fifth inning.
The hit in the 9th inning was the only one allowed by Corey Deighan in 1.2 innings. Deighan (4-2) took the loss after allowing his one walk to score the final run. The senior right-hander struck out three batters, including two in the eighth inning.
The Buccaneers left five runners in scoring position before finally breaking through in the seventh inning, tying the game at 1-1. A lead off single by Blake Hunt came around to score on a wild pitch from Kyle Rowe. A sacrifice bunt by Harrison Wilkins moved pinch-runner Ben Qualkinbush into scoring position before a ground out to the pitcher allowed him to reach third base.
Georgia Southern took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a two-out single from Brent Pugh. Pugh dropped a ball into left field to score T.D. Davis, who led off the inning with a single to right field. Pugh finished the day with just the one hit but also walked twice and flew out to the warning track to lead off the 9th inning.
Before scoring the run, the Eagles came up scoreless with two runners on base in both the first and second innings. Phillips', who took sole possession of second place on GSU's career hits list, tripled to lead off the game and Williams followed with a bunt single; but both were left on base after starter Kevin Buran retired the next three hitters with a pair of strikeouts. Buran found himself in a similar jam in the next frame but coaxed a double play from Zac Lenns to end the threat.
Georgia Southern remains at home this weekend and will host Samford in a three-game Southern Conference series. First pitch for Friday's series opener is set for 6 p.m.