Georgia Southern completed the first series sweep recorded over Samford this season, holding on for a 12-9 victory on Sunday at J.I. Clements Stadium. The Eagles built an early lead and behind the pitching of starter Andy Moye and reliever Dexter Bobo, improved its win streak to six games.
Victor Roache went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Eagles (21-15, 12-6 SoCon). Georgia Southern starter Moye allowed three runs, all of them earned, on 10 hits in seven-plus innings to pick up his fifth win of the season, improving to 5-3. The junior struck out three and walked three.
The Eagles led 12-1 after six innings, but the Bulldogs (21-14, 11-4) rallied in the top of the eighth before Georgia Southern closer Bobo slammed the door with 1.1 innings of perfect relief.
Out-hit by a 15-13 margin, the Eagles helped themselves by turning a season-high four double plays, three of them by second baseman Kevin Bowles and shortstop Eric Phillips. Phillips and A.J. Wirnsberger were both 2-for-5 while Michael Burruss, Shawn Payne and Randy J. Williams drove in two runs apiece.
Georgia Southern scored in each of the first four innings en route to a 10-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Arthur Owens led off with a single and scored on a two-out error by the shortstop to put the Eagles ahead 1-0. Burruss had an RBI double, while Williams and Owens had sacrifice flies as Georgia Southern scored three runs and chased Samford starter Josh Martin in the second for a 4-0 advantage.
In the third, Payne had a two-run double while Roache and Williams added one-run singles as the Eagles scored four times for an 8-0 cushion. Wirnsberger had an RBI single and Roache had an RBI double in the fourth, increasing Georgia Southern’s lead to 10-0.
Moye took a three-hit shutout through four innings. The Bulldogs scored their first run on a one-out single by Brad Moss in the fifth. The Eagles posted their final two runs in the sixth on a double by Phillips and a fielder’s choice by Burruss.
Trailing 12-1, Samford sent 14 batters to the plate in the eighth, scoring eight runs on seven hits, two walks, two hit batters and two errors. Moye was allowed a single and Stephen Ballard’s RBI double before giving way to Colin Snow, who surrendered five runs (four earned) on four hits and a walk in 2/3 innings. After Mason Meredeth and David Schulze greeted him with back-to-back singles, Snow got the next two batters, but Gary Cramer hit a three-run homer and Tommy Corbin followed with a solo shot that sliced Georgia Southern’s lead to 12-7.
Snow walked Moss and yielded to Michael Hester, who was greeted by Michael Johnson’s double. Ballard hit a line drive to the shortstop for what should have been the third out, but Phillips dropped the ball and then committed a throwing error that allowed two runs to score.
After Hester hit Meredeth and walked Schulze to load the bases, Bobo entered the game and retired pinch-hitter Austin Allison on a fly ball to right field. Bobo got the Bulldogs in order on a groundball and two strikeouts in the ninth for his third save of the series and sixth of the season.
For Samford, Johnson was 3-for-5, Gardner Richey was 2-for-2, and Cramer was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Martin (2-4) was charged with the loss. In 1.1 innings, he gave up four runs (two earned) on three hits with one strikeout and no walks.
The Eagles return to action Tuesday at No. 5 Georgia Tech.