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Eagles drop two to Boston College
BC bats too much to handle in season opener
022308 GSU BASEBALL 01
Georgia Southern right fielder Chris Shehan hits a two-run shot over the fence off of Boston College pitcher Terry Doyle in the fourth inning of the first game of Saturday's double-header at J.I. Clements Stadium. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    A good night’s sleep and a fresh start today might be just what the Georgia Southern baseball team needs.
    A long season-opening day didn’t pan out as GSU had hoped as Boston College swept Saturday’s double header 11-7 and 14-7 at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    BC doomed GSU with the long ball, hitting 10 shots out of the park Saturday — three in the first game and seven in the second. After taking game one on the strength of a seventh-inning rally, BC sent Georgia Southern starter Aaron Eubanks packing with three two-run bombs in the third inning.
    The visitors then buried GSU (0-2) with a three-run shot in the ninth to go up 14-5. Three of the home runs in the game two came from sophomore designated hitter Sam Shaughnessy.
    “To their credit they hurt us with home runs,” Georgia Southern coach Rodney Hennon said. “We’ve got to do a better job getting ahead in the count — that’s the bottom line. Our pitchers know that. Most of the damage was done when we got behind in the count. I think their hitters were a little bit too comfortable. We’ve got to do a better job working ahead and making some pitches.”
    The Eagles will look to avoid a sweep in today’s series finale at noon.
    “It’s the first day, and this team is going to get better,” Hennon said. “We’ll be ready to compete (today). We’ve got to finish innings.”
    There were some bright spots for Georgia Southern, specifically left fielder Jonathan King, a Young Harris transfer who had a solid GSU debut with five hits, three RBIs and three runs scored on the day.
    Right fielder Chris Shehan also had a big day, finishing with five hits — including a two-run bomb in game one. A.J. Wirnsberger had four hits in the doubleheader, and Brian Pierce was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in the night cap.
    The Eagles cranked out 29 hits on the day and out-hit BC 18-15 in game two when they stranded 16 runners. GSU left five men on base in the first two innings of the night game and also missed out on chances to extend their lead in the opener.
    “We did some good things (at the plate), and even on the mound at times,” Hennon said. “You look at the numbers and yeah we had some hits today, but we also missed out on some opportunities. We’ve got to do those little things better (today).”
    In game one, Georgia Southern rallied for four runs in the fourth to go up 7-5, but BC pulled away by hammering GSU’s bullpen for five runs with two outs in the seventh.
    Freshman reliever Trent Franzago suffered the loss, giving up five earned runs and five hits in 1.2 innings of work. BC’s James MacDonald got the win, shutting out GSU over the final five innings.
    Eubanks took the loss in game two after allowing six earned runs over three innings.
    Redshirt freshman right-hander Andy Moye will make his collegiate debut for GSU today while right-hander Nick Asselin will take the mound for BC.
Notes: Second baseman Jake Ware, a redshirt freshman out of Statesboro High, made his first-career start in game two. He went 1-for-4. … Metter’s Justin Davis was one of several relievers to make his collegiate debut Saturday. He surrendered one hit — a solo home run — in one inning of game two. ... The third-largest crowd in J.I. Clement’s history (2,217) was on hand for the opener.

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