Georgia Southern continued its good start in Southern Conference play, defeating Wofford by a score of 3-0 Saturday at J.I. Clements Stadium for its second win over the Terriers in as many days.
The win marked the first shutout thrown by Georgia Southern since Chris Beck’s 1-0 shutout of Samford in the championship game of the 2011 Southern Conference tournament.
For the second consecutive game, the Eagles (8-6, 2-0 SoCon) got a great effort out of their starting pitcher. Jason Richman went seven strong innings, allowing just three hits while striking out five to notch his third win of the season.
“It feels great to be off to a good start,” Richman said. “More importantly, it’s great for the team to get these early wins. You want to win as many as possible in conference play, so coming out and playing well today was big.”
The Eagles got all of the offense they needed in the bottom of the second inning.
Robbie Dodds (3-for-4, 2B, 2 runs) slapped a one-out single off of Wofford starter Jesse Morris and Arthur Owens responded with a single up the middle two pitches later. Stryker Brown legged out a check swing that dribbled the ball perfectly down the third base line to load the bases and Tyler Avera recorded the Eagles’ fourth consecutive single to knock in Dodds.
Avera — who entered Saturday’s game hitting just .200 on the season — piled on more offense in the fourth inning. Dodds again started the rally, doubling to left off of Morris. Owens singled home Dodds and Avera deposited a hanging curve on the left field line for an RBI double.
“Hitting can be contagious,” Avera said. “A few guys got some good swings and I was just trying to follow them. The second time around, I just got a good pitch right where I wanted it and was able to put it down the line.”
That was more than enough for Richman, who was in cruise control for most of the day.
His only rough inning was his first as he issued a leadoff walk to Matthew Kaskow and allowed a one-out single to Josh Hyman. With runners on the corners, Richmond got Terriers’ cleanup hitter Seth Neely to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play.
Wofford (7-8, 0-1) was unable to get another runner past second against Richman.
Matt McCall came out of the GSU bullpen in the eighth and recorded two outs, but allowed Wofford to put runners on second and third. Justin Hess came in to put out the fire, escaping the jam and then striking out the side in the ninth to record his first career save.
“With Kyle Rowe unavailable, we felt that using (Hess) was one option that we had,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. “He came in and did a great job. Our pitching the last couple of days has been excellent and that’s going to lead to wins.”
Georgia Southern will go for the series sweep this afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.