GREENVILLE, S.C. – On a doubleheader Saturday, Georgia Southern swept the Furman Paladins by decisions of 5-2 and 11-2 at Latham Stadium.
Jake Brown pushed his record to 7-4 picking up the first win with Dexter Bobo recording his seventh save of the season. Brown threw eight innings of work, allowing two runs on nine hits.
Matt Murray grabbed the second game moving to 4-2 on the year. Trent Franzago closed the game throwing the final two innings, allowing one run on three hits.
Eric Phillips went 4-for-5 in game one with one RBI, while Kyle Blackburn was 3-for-6 with four RBI and one run scored on a home run. Arthur Owens was 3-for-4 in game two with one RBI and one run scored. For both games, Owens was 5-for-8, while both Blackburn (two home runs) and Phillips were 5-for-9.
After two scoreless innings, GS and Furman traded solo home runs in the third from Blackburn and Dylan Cole to leave the scored knotted at 1-all after three complete. But a one-run fourth gave the Paladins their first lead of the contest. With two outs on the board, Will Miller was hit to put a runner on first. A Paul Nitto single moved Miller to third, who then scored on a J.B. Jenkins single to left. Cole followed with a potential run-scoring single, but Owens threw out Jenkins advancing to second to end the inning with Furman leading 2-1.
With one out, back-to-back Paladin singles put runners on first and second before a double steal put both runners in scoring position. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) elected to attempt the out at home on a Nitto grounder to third base as the senior saved a Furman run from scoring. The inning closed unscathed when Nitto was forced out at second on a Jenkins groundball to third.
For three consecutive innings, the Eagles put the leadoff batter on base, but double plays ended both the fifth and sixth innings without producing a run. But a pair of singles to open the seventh put Eagles on first and third base with no outs. Randy J. Williams tied the ballgame at 2-all with an RBI groundout plating Michael Burruss.
GS retook the lead for the first time since the third inning when Blackburn, who singled to open the inning, scored the go-ahead run on a double play groundball. Furman called to the bullpen twice before Owens roped a two-out RBI single to hand GS a 4-2 lead.
An Eric Phillips RBI double in the ninth cushioned the Eagles’ advantage to 5-2. Closer Bobo came in to pitch the ninth and sat the Paladins down in order to close the game.
The Eagles loaded the bases in both the first two innings, capturing only one run in the first and leaving three stranded in the second. Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) put the first run on the board in the top of the first with an RBI groundout scoring Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) who doubled to open the game.
GS plated two in the fourth to take a three run lead using a two-run RBI single from Blackburn laced to left field. The Eagles picked up singles from Owens and Payne and a walk from Bowles setting up Blackburn’s at-bat.
Furman got on board with a solo shot to right center from Reese Wade in the bottom half of the fourth.
But it would be the sixth inning in which GS would bat around and collect five hits and seven runs for a permanent lead, 10-1. Bowles picked up another pair of RBI singling through the left side before Blackburn homered to left center, clearing the bases for a 7-1 margin. Burruss followed four batters later with a double to left center that plated Victor Roache and Phillips before Owens tacked on the seventh run of the inning with a RBI single.
GS pushed its lead out to double digits, 11-1, with a Phillips sacrifice fly to left field in the seventh. Will Muzika added another run for Furman, dropping a home run to left field in the eighth, but Franzago shut down the Paladins in the ninth for a final 11-2 score.
Game three of the series will take place on Sunday, May 2 at 1 p.m.