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Diamond Eagles pound Michigan
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    GREENVILLE, N.C. —Georgia Southern University Baseball fought through a rain delay all day Friday and another for 68 minutes to start Saturday, but the delays didn’t affect the offense as the Eagles beat 23rd-ranked Michigan 12-3. The Eagles improved to 5-5 overall.
    The Eagles scored first, sending 11 batters to the plate in the fourth inning. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bear Bryant) and Jeremiah Parker (Carrollton/Carrollton) singled to start the frame. Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) executed a safety squeeze bunt, actually beating out the throw for a single as Wirnsberger scored.
    Jeremy Beckham (Griffin/Griffin) hit a sacrifice fly for the second run. Leadoff hitter Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) hit his second home run of the year, a 2-run blast over the right field fence. Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) and Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) singled then Kyle Blackburn (Marietta/Walton) took a four-pitch walk to load the bases and chase starter Mike Wilson. Before relief pitcher Ben Janzen could throw a pitch home he balked to make it a 5-0 GS lead.
    “The bunt was coach’s call. I was able to get ahead in the count and he put the safety squeeze call on. I was supposed to bunt a strike, I got a pitch on the outer half that I could handle and was able to get it down,” said Pierce, who on the play recorded his first RBI of the year.
    Benedict dropped a double into right centerfield to start the sixth. A sacrifice bunt advanced him to third then he scored on Miller’s RBI groundout.
    Aaron Eubanks (Moultrie/Colquitt County) walked the first two batters he faced in the sixth, his first two free passes allowed in the game. Two batters later Jason Christian hit a 3-run shot cutting the Eagles’ lead in half, 6-3.
    The Eagles capitalized with two down in the eighth. Blackburn singled, Wirnsberger was hit by a pitch then Parker hit an infield single to load the bases. Benedict worked the count full against Janzen and drew a RBI walk. Janzen uncorked a wild pitch during Pierce’s at-bat to score Wirnsberger, extending the Eagles’ lead to 8-3 lead.
    GS exploded in the ninth, scoring four times — three on a strange bases loaded walk. Shehan delivered a two-out RBI single. Pinch-hitter Will Southwell (Moultrie/Colquitt County) was hit by a pitch and Wirnsberger walked to load the bases. Parker worked the count to 3-2 against Matt Gerbe. With the runners in motion, ball four flew past catcher Chris Berset. Shehan scored, and then Southwell was able to score on the wild pitch. Berset tried throwing to Gerbe covering home but his throw got past not only the pitcher but the entire infield, which allowed Wirnsberger to come home as well.
    Blake Nation (Brooks/Starr’s Mill) blanked the Wolverines for 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and striking out one. Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine Military) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off Michigan.
    Despite the delays, Pierce said he and his teammates stayed focus.
    “We basically went through the same routine yesterday and then today. We felt good yesterday when we got to the park and felt the same today. We want to come to the park every day focused. We cannot control the weather, we want to focus on things we can control,” said Pierce. “This is a fantastic start to the Classic, picking up a win against a good Michigan team.”
    Eubanks (2-1 overall) allowed the three runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out four and walked two. Miller, Shehan, Blackburn, Wirnsberger, Parker and Pierce had two hits apiece keying the 15-9 advantage over the Wolverines in hits. Miller drove in three runs.
    Christian was one of three Wolverines (4-4) with two hits. Wilson (0-2) allowed five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings.