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Diamond Eagles lose series, finish in fourth
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    GREENVILLE, S.C. — A late inning rally fell short as Georgia Southern dropped a 6-5 decision at Furman Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams. The Eagles close out the regular season 32-23 overall and 16-11 in the Southern Conference.
    Down 6-2 heading into the eighth, the Eagles closed the gap. Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) singled to start the frame and Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) followed with a shot up the middle. A wild pitch advanced both runners then Jeremiah Parker (Carrollton/Carrollton) singled up the middle to score both. On the play Shehan scored his 79th run of the season, matching Chris Walker’s season record.
    Parker advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a deep fly ball then scored on David Richardson’s (Dahlonega/Lumpkin County) single off closer Nick Karow making it a one run game.
    Trent Franzago (Byron/Peach County) retired Furman in the eighth. Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens) singled to start the ninth and went to second on a wild pitch. Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) dropped down a sacrifice bunt but right back to Karow who threw over to third base in time to get Wright. A strikeout and force out ended the game.
    For the third time in the series Furman (31-22, 17-10) scored first. Andy Moye (Alpharetta/Alpharetta) retired the first six batters he faced in order to start the game. Brian Harrison greeted the redshirt-freshman in the third by hitting his first collegiate homer. After retiring Ryan Lee on a comebacker to the mound Furman got four straight singles, the last a 2-run hit by Reese Wade to go ahead 3-0.
    Benedict returned the favor in the fourth, hitting the first pitch of the fourth just inside the left field foul pole. His 12th home run of the year made it a 3-1 deficit.
    Connor Lind recorded another single, scoring Jay Jackson with two outs in the fourth to extend Furman’s lead to three runs again.
    The Eagles used a two-out rally in the fifth to score another run. Porter and Shehan drew back-to-back walks. Benedict dropped a single down the right field line to score Porter.
    Harrison delivered a RBI single in the sixth then in the seventh Wade also hit his first collegiate home run, a solo shot to extend the Paladins’ lead to 6-2.
    Benedict had three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Parker and Richardson added two hits apiece as for the first time this year the Eagles failed to score at least 10 runs versus a SoCon opponent in at least one game of the series.
    Moye (3-5) was charged for five runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. He did not walk a batter and fanned two. Franzago allowed one run on two hits in 2.2 innings, striking out two.
    Four Paladins had two hits, including Wade who finished with three RBI. Spencer Hale earned the win in relief, improving to 3-1. Karow worked the final 1.2 innings for his ninth save.
    On Wednesday, Georgia Southern begins SoCon Tournament play as the fourth-seed, squaring off against fifth-seed UNC Greensboro with the time yet to be determined.