Josh Adams nearly mirrored Chris Beck’s Friday night, Game 1 start as he pitched eight innings while throwing only 89 pitches as Georgia Southern clinched the series with a 12-2 win Saturday afternoon in the second of a three-game series against North Carolina Central at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The series will conclude today with Will Middour projected to take the mound. Middour started Game 3 last Sunday against George Washington, pitching five scoreless innings in an 18-0 win by Georgia Southern (5-2).
Adams (2-0) struck out seven on no walks and seven hits, and his only miscue came in the eighth inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Nate Smith.
“I saw Beck out there and I thought, ‘Man, he’s really doing good,’” said Adams, a junior-college transfer, about Beck’s eight-inning, 12-strikeout performance Friday night. “I thought I needed to get myself together and do it like he did it. He did good out there.”
Brent Pugh, a redshirt freshman, got his first-career start as an Eagle, playing third base and leading all Georgia Southern hitters with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate.
Pugh was informed less than an hour before first pitch about his spot in the starting lineup.
“There was a little nerves, but you’ve got to be a mind eraser and just go out there and show what you’ve got,” said Pugh about his first start. “I try to bring an all-out attitude and get dirty. Coach Hennon told me to be a defensive player and that the hits will come. I was a little nervous, but once I got that first hit and made a couple plays, I was fine.”
Pugh crossed the plate three times and drove in a pair of runs.
Designated hitter Michael Burruss also had a multi-hit game, crossing the plate once and batting in three more on a 2-for-4 afternoon. First baseman Steve Cochrane went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored twice.
The Eagles scored a run in the first, second and fourth inning and put up a two-spot in the third. N.C. Central (0-5) really fell behind in the fifth when GSU plated six more.
Cochrane doubled to get things started and right fielder Victor Roache singled to drive him in. Roache later scored on a base hit by Pugh. Later in the inning, leadoff hitter Shawn Payne walked with the bases loaded to score Tom Richardson. Pugh and Scooter Williams scored on a base hit by Burruss, and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Andy Moye drove in Payne.
The Eagles tacked on their final run in the bottom of the eighth when Pugh scored on an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Garren Palmer.
Relief pitcher Taylor Burke closed out the game in the ninth inning. The lefty gave up a pair of hits and a walk but got out of bases-loaded trouble unscathed.
NOTES: Announced attendance was 1,391. … Smith’s two-run home run in the eighth inning snapped a scoreless-inning streak of 16 by GSU pitchers. … Payne reached base for the 36th game in a row dating back to 2010.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.