SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Behind solid pitching and four runs over the final three innings, Georgia Southern's baseball team rallied to defeat Wofford, 7-4, in the series opener at Russell C. King Field.
The Eagles also got a new career hits leader in the third inning when Eric Phillips dropped a liner in front of the left fielder for his 327th career hit.
GSU (30-24, 15-13) rallied from a 4-3 deficit in the seventh inning and scored two runs on two hits and an error to take a one-run lead. A single from Chase Griffin drove in a leadoff double by Phillips to score the first run of the inning and tie the game at 4. After two bunts moved Griffin to third base, Hunter Thomas drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the winning run.
The runs gave GSU starter Chris Beck his first win since April 6 at Davidson. Beck (5-7) allowed four runs — two earned runs — on six hits over six strong frames. Beck gave up three runs over the first three frames but settled down to strike out six batters over the final three frames.
The win also gave the Eagles their 13th straight season of 30 or more wins, and gave head coach Rodney Hennon his 15th straight season with 30 or more wins. Hennon now ranks ninth among active head coaches in that category and has led every team he has coached to 30-plus wins.
GSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but found itself tied at 3 after the third inning. After an error by left fielder Matthew Pelt allowed the game's first run to score, Phillips drove in a second run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly. Beck gave up a sacrifice fly of his own in the bottom of the first inning and allowed two runs in the third inning after loading the bases.
Wofford broke open a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning and took a one-run lead. Beck gave up a leadoff single to Konstantine Diamaduros to start the inning but coaxed a fly out and struck out Luke Feisal to record two quick outs. The junior right-hander was unable to get out of the inning unscathed after James Plaisted struck for an RBI double.
Jarret Leverett came on in relief after the Eagles took a one-run lead in the top of the seventh. The evening did not start well for Leverett, who walked a batter with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but bounced back to record his team-best sixth save. The senior left-hander struck out four of the final seven batters he faced.
The Eagles added two insurance runs in the ninth on a two-RBI double by T.D. Davis. A pair of walks by J.D. Osborne led off the inning and after a passed ball, both runners scored on Davis' extra-base hit to right center.
The series concludes at 2 p.m. today with a doubleheader that can be heard on the Boomer 103.7 FM.