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GSU earns first SoCon victory, 8-3, over UNC Greensboro
Eagles snap four-game losing streak
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Georgia Southern's baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak and won its first Southern Conference game of the season in the home opener, 8-3, against UNC Greensboro on Friday night at J.I. Clements Stadium. Behind another solid start from Chris Beck, the Eagles bounced back from a sweep at Elon.

Beck (2-2) pitched into the eighth inning for Georgia Southern (8-10, 1-3) and allowed the offense to mount an 8-2 lead before surrendering another run. The junior pitcher tossed 7 2/3 innings, struck out a season-high nine batters and worked around nine hits. He avoided the big inning and scattered the three runs he allowed over three separate frames.

Both teams tallied 10 hits each, but UNCG (10-7, 1-3) stranded 10 base runners in their first road game of the season. Tyler Hollstegge (2-1) recovered from a shaky start, in which he walked two of the first three batters he faced, but was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs – two earned – on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Three Eagles posted multi-hit games including Scooter Williams, who reached 10 games on his hitting streak. Casey Kicklighter snapped out of a 1-for-16 funk with two doubles and drove in Eric Phillips, who walked to lead off the seventh, for his first RBI since March 4th. Phillips walked twice but his 18-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-2.

The series opener between the two teams was delayed by two hours and 20 minutes due to lightning strikes in the area. After the delay, Kris Richards jumped on the second pitch he saw and gave UNCG a 1-0 lead with a solo homer over the left field wall. Beck retired six-straight batters and worked around a pair of singles in the third inning to hold the Spartans to just one run over the the first three frames.

Georgia Southern responded with three runs on one hit, two walks and an error. Michael Burruss plated a leadoff walk of Williams with a double into the right field corner. Stryker Brown, who went two-for-three with two RBIs at the plate, drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Eagles added a single run in the third inning on a single from Brown and tacked on two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a six-run lead. The bottom of the order set the table for a Williams' two-RBI double in the sixth inning. Clint Clark drew a full count two-out walk after the first two batters were quickly retired. Brent Pugh punched a ball through the right side to move Clark to second and hustled on Williams' double to get around the tag at home plate for the second run.

UNCG, trailing by three runs going into the fifth inning, cut the lead to two runs with an unearned run. A booted ball by Brown, while trying to field Kirs Richards' single, allowed Christian Wolfe to score from second base. Wolfe doubled to lead off the frame, but Beck got two quick outs and worked around a walk to exit the inning.

After facing just one over the minimum in the next two frames, Beck walked the lead off batter in the eighth inning. Trevor Edwards would eventually come around to score on a two-out single from T.J. Spina to cut the lead to the final score of 8-3. Kyle Rowe worked a perfect ninth inning and struck out two batters to close the book on the Spartans.

The three-game series continues at 2:30 p.m. today and concludes at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Josh Stevenson (0-0, 7.88) takes the mound for his first start of the year and will face Corey Taylor (2-1, 1.77) in game two.

All games can be heard on Boomer 103.7 FM and inside the stadium on 88.1 FM.