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Columbia stuns Diamond Eagles, picks up first win of season
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    On paper, it didn’t look like Columbia had a shot at keeping pace with Georgia Southern’s offensive power. The Lions came to Statesboro batting a lowly .184 as a team while the Eagles entered the weekend with an impressive .339 average.
    Those numbers didn’t mean much Friday night at J.I. Clements Stadium when Columbia cranked out a season-high 16 hits to beat GSU 8-5 for its first win of the season. The loss ended Georgia Southern’s (8-7) six-game home winning streak.
    The Eagles led 5-1 after a five-run third but were held hitless over the final six innings. While the Lions’ bullpen shutout the Eagles, Columbia (1-8) put up four runs against GSU relievers to pull away.
    The third inning was the only offensive bright spot for Georgia Southern, which went ahead on RBI doubles by Phillip Porter and Jeremiah Parker, Chris Shehan’s team-leading sixth home run over the fence in right and a run-scoring wild pitch.
    Columbia came within one in the fifth after plating three runs to chase GSU starter Aaron Eubanks. The Lions then tied it in the sixth on a RBI sacrifice fly off reliever Brian Wilkerson and took the lead for good on catcher Dean Forthun’s RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh off Blake Nation.
    Columbia added two more runs in the eighth, one charged to Nation and the other to Kyle Kamppi. Nation (1-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs and three hits in 11⁄3 innings. Eubanks surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and struck out three over five innings.
    The Eagles managed just six hits, two from third baseman A.J. Wirnsberger and one apiece from Jeremy Beckham, Porter, Shehan and Parker.
    Southern had two on and one out in the nith, but couldn’t rally for the tying or winning runs.
    Columbia reliever Matt Lautmann picked up the win, tossing 11⁄3 shutout innings.
    The teams continue the four-game series today at 1:30 p.m. Right-hander Drew Murray will take the mound for the Eagles against right-hander Joe Scarlate.
Notes: GSU’s starting centerfielder Matt Miller is day-to-day after fouling a ball off his leg in Wednesday’s game. Porter started in center Friday.…The Lions got their leadoff batter on in six consecutive innings beginning in the second….Friday was Georgia Southern’s sixth game during its current 10-games-in-11-days stretch. The Eagles have won seven of their last 10.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.