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Mistakes cost Eagles
Mountaineers knock GSU out of SoCon Tourney
Dexter Bobo
Dexter Bobo, getting his first-career start for Georgia Southern after spending the last two seasons as the Eagles' closer, throws a pitch during the second day of the Southern Conference tournament against Appalachian State Thursday morning at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C. The Mountaineers scored four unearned runs and eliminated GSU with a 6-2 win. - photo by Courtesy Southern Conference

          CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Georgia Southern made the mistakes, and Appalachian State did the rest.

            The seventh-seeded Mountaineers got four unearned runs on the board as they stayed alive in the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament, knocking off No. 3 GSU 6-2 as the Eagles were the first team eliminated Thursday morning at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

            Georgia Southern closer Dexter Bobo got his first and last start as an Eagle, and his only earned run crossed the plate when he left the game after a pair of leadoff walks and a double play in the bottom of the sixth.

            Prior to the contest, Bobo’s career-high pitch count was 59, set on April 4 at College of Charleston. He threw 83 pitches against ASU, giving up three hits, a pair of sixth-inning walks and striking out seven.

            “I was kind of shocked when I found out I was going to start,” said Bobo, who got the nod early Thursday morning. “I was excited. One pitch at a time like I’ve done all year, throw as hard as I can for as long as I can, and for some reason I felt more locked in than most days. I felt like I pounded the strike zone pretty well, but I guess I got tired later on.”

            Appalachian State (36-17-1) got on the scoreboard first, when a two-out error by Eric Phillips in the second extended the inning and set up a two-run homer by Chris Allessandria (3-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2B).

            Bobo’s only earned run came after he left the game in the sixth after a 4-6-3 double play left Wes Hobson on third with two outs. Relief pitcher Colin Snow (2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 1 ER) entered the game and gave up an RBI double to Jeremy Dowdy for a 3-1 Appalachian State lead.

            The Mountaineers got a complete game out of starter Matt Andress (9-3), who allowed nine scattered hits and struck out 11.

            “He made some key pitches when he had to and the difference is they made the plays,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “We made mistakes defensively in each inning they scored. The first was with two outs, and they got (Allessandria’s homer). That’s what you’ve got to do. You come out here and you talk about tournament baseball, and those are the things you have to do. They did a better job of it than we did.”

            Andress struck out Shawn Payne for the third time of the game in the ninth to cap off a 1-2-3 inning and seal the win.

            Arthur Owens became the first leadoff runner to get on base for GSU in the game in the fifth when he beat out an infield single, and later came around to score on an RBI single by Payne to make it 2-1.

            Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, A.J. Wirnsberger led off the inning with a solo home run to straight-away center to cut it to 3-2. Owens walked and Roman Grimaldi beat out a bunt single to put two on with no out, but the Eagles failed to get any more across.

            Wirnsberger and designated hitter Victor Roache had the only multi-hit performances for Georgia Southern.

            Appalachian State got three more (one earned) in the bottom of the seventh on four hits – including doubles by Allessandria and Jarod Faggart -- to put GSU away.

            The Eagles ended their season on a five-game losing streak, the longest since losing seven straight in May of 2007.


            Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.