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GSU grabs game two from Towson
GSU Miller 3 col COL
Georgia Southern's Matt Miller, left, beats a throw to home plate to score on a single by Kyle Blackburn in the sixth inning Saturday against Towson. The Eagles won 14-6. - photo by Associated Press
    A.J. Wirnsberger provided some early run support with a first inning grand slam and Aaron Eubanks pitched into the sixth inning as Georgia Southern took game two of the series against Towson 14-8, Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    After needing a three-run rally in the ninth inning last night to win, the Eagles (3-4 overall) gave Eubanks some early breathing room. Eubanks worked out of two-on jam in the first inning without allowing any damage. Then the bats came alive.
    Phillip Porter reached on a one-out error. Chris Shehan singled and Kyle Blackburn  walked on four pitches to load the bases. Wirnsberger slammed a 0-1 pitch over the centerfield fence. It was his first home run this year and the sophomore’s first career grand slam.
    “It was huge to score some runs right away. That is what we need to do, go out execute and give our pitchers some run support so they can go out and pitch with extra confidence,” said Wirnsberger. “I knew (rounding the bases) it was my first grand slam here, it was exciting. I tried to stay back on the pitch. Coach Tidick and coach Klinger kept telling me to keep my front shoulder closed and stay on the ball. Today was a big win and should be a big confidence builder heading into tomorrow’s finale and next week.”
    Jeremy Beckham singled to start the second inning. He stole second then scored on Shehan’s third home run this year. That extended the Eagles’ lead to 6-0. Wirnsberger scored on a wild pitch in the third inning, making it 7-0.
    In the fourth, Austin Harclerode hit a single to centerfield and Eric Weller just beat Matt Miller’s throw home.
    Towson (2-3) plated two runs in the sixth but the Eagles responded in their half. Beckham, the first batter faced by relief pitcher Drew Permison, was hit by a pitch. Miller and Porter drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Blackburn lined a 2-run single then Wirnsberger plated another run on a groundout, his fifth RBI of the game.
    The Tigers scored an unearned run in the seventh thanks to Harclerode’s RBI single, making it a 10-4 score.
    GSU loaded the bases again with two outs when Griffin Benedict singled, Miller walked and Porter was hit by a pitch. Shehan lined a 2-run single to right field for a 12-4 lead.
    The Tigers scored two runs in the eighth (one coming off an error) and two more in the ninth on Terry Gallo’s 2-run homer.
    In the eighth, Jeremiah Parker scored on Charlie Cononie’s wild pitch and Beckham delivered a RBI single.
    Eubanks, who lasted only three innings in his last start, knew that shutting the door on Towson in the first after they threatened then Wirnsberger’s grand slam was an early turning point.
    “That is how you get momentum shifted in your favor early on. I wanted to keep locating my pitches down in the zone, keep their hitters off balance and let my defense do the work,” said Eubanks. “Wirnsberger has a big day at the plate but he also made some big plays over at third base… You cannot let one outing affect the rest of your season, good or bad. You can’t take a no-hitter into your next outing or you will get shelled. I try to keep an even keel, fix my mistakes from the last outing and go deep into the game.”
    Eubanks (1-1) gave up three runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out one. Wirnsberger drove in a season-high five runs and scored twice going 2-for-5 at the plate.