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Diamond Eagles maim Mercer
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    MACON — Georgia Southern scored early and often against Mercer, jumping out to a nine-run lead then defeating the Bears 17-3 Tuesday night. That game for the Eagles (11-8 overall) was the 10th in a 10-day span.
    The Eagles capitalized an error on what could have been a double play ball to break loose in the second. Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) and Will Southwell (Moultrie/Colquitt County) singled to start then A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bear Bryant) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. David Richardson (Dahlonega/Lumpkin County) hit a grounder up the middle. Shortstop Billy Shaughnessy let the ball go under his glove which brought home two runs.
    Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) singled home a run, Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens) delivered a RBI single then Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) had a RBI groundout. Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) ripped a 2-run single up the middle that forced Mercer starting pitcher Scott Patterson to hit the deck and give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
    Richardson hit his third home run in as many games played, a 2-run shot as the Eagles went ahead 9-0 in the third inning. Another Mercer error, this time by catcher Casey Stuart, led to three more runs during the seventh inning. Wright brought home two of those three runs on a 2-run double down the left field line.
    Stuart hit a solo home run with one down in the seventh to wreck the shutout.
    Richardson added to his career-high RBI total with a 2-run double with two outs in the ninth. The senior outfielder finished with a season-high three hits (two doubles, one home run) in six at-bats. He drove in a career-high five runs and scored three times.
    The Eagles out-hit Mercer 20-10 as six different players had at least two hits. Wright and Benedict had three hits apiece along with Richardson.
    Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine Academy) made his first start of his Georgia Southern career and pitched a career-best four shutout innings. Kamppi (2-1) walked one and struck out two while scattering three hits.
    Tony Chisman (Conyers/Salem) pitched two scoreless innings. A.J. Gilbert (Marietta/Kell) struck out two batters in a scoreless inning of work.
    Patterson (0-1) gave up seven runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings. Matt Crawford and John Moreland had two hits apiece.
    The Eagles begin their Southern Conference schedule this weekend, playing host to defending regular season co-champion Western Carolina. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.