After an offensive outburst on Tuesday, the bats of the Georgia Southern Eagles
disappeared. Kennesaw State two-hit GSU and won 3-0 on Wednesday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
It was the third time the season the Eagles have been shut out, and Chris Erwin, the starting pitcher for the Owls, went five strong innings and struck out six.
“Kennesaw State got good pitching from their starter and the guys that came in behind him. We didn't play fundamental, good baseball today,” GSU coach Rodney Henno said. “You are not going to get 10 plus hits everyday you come to the ballpark. Sometimes you have to grind out at-bats, and I felt like we wasted a few at-bats tonight.”
Kennesaw State (15-18) put the only earned run of the game across the plate in the first inning. Jacob Bruce ripped a one-out triple and scored on a double by Max Pentecost.
The Owls got some help from GSU (21-10) in their two-run seventh inning. Bruce reached and took second on a throwing error by GSU shortstop Dalton Busby. Pentecost dropped a single into right field, and Bruce scored after a throwing error by first baseman Ryan
Pentecost came around to score on a single by Bo Way, but Way got tagged out at second trying to stretch a double, ending the inning.
The bottom of the seventh saw two Eagles reach on Kennesaw errors, but Stryker Brown went down on strikes after failing to lay down a bunt, and Busby and Aaron Palmer couldn’t get anything going against KSU reliever Will Soloman.
“We have to do a better job of executing some of the little things,” Hennon said. “We just need to pick ourselves up come out and get ourselves prepared for the weekend.”
The Eagles stranded three runners in scoring position in the game. Their only hits were an Aaron Mizell single in the first and a Busby single in the fifth. Busby was picked off to end the frame.
Soloman mowed down all three batters he faced in the eighth.
Justin McCalvin earned the save by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth, including a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
The Owls had dropped nine of their last 10 coming into the contest.
Will Middour (1-1) got the start for the Eagles. He allowed both extra base hits in the first, but didn't allow another hit through through the next three innings of work. He pitched around five walks and struck out three.
“I thought Will competed for us but had a few too many base on balls. He was able to wiggle out of it,” Hennon said. “If we do some of the little things we still put ourselves in position to win the ball game.”
Jason Richman, who relieved Middour in the fifth, appeared for the eighth time in the last nine games, and for the fifth game in a row. He allowed two hits and struck out two in 1.1 innings of work. Eric Alonzo, Ryan Frederick and Matt McCall each pitched in the game, with five combined strikeouts.
Georgia Southern will be back in action on Friday in the first of a three-game Southern Conference series at The Citadel.
The Eagles have lost six-straight SoCon series on the road dating back to the 2013 season. They dropped two of three this season at Elon and at Davidson.
GSU is 17-4 at home this season, but 4-6 on the road, winning twice at Georgia and once at Elon and Davidson.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.