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GSU salvages series with massacre of Boston College
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    What a difference a day makes.
    A rejuvenated Georgia Southern baseball team got back on track Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium, hammering the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Boston College 18-6 for its first win of the year.
With the convincing victory, GSU avoided a series sweep by BC, which took both games of Saturday’s season-opening doubleheader.
    What was the key to Georgia Southern turning things around Sunday?
    “It was definitely our attitude,” said redshirt freshman starter Andy Moye, who earned the win in his collegiate debut. “We wanted it more today. We were into it the whole game.”
    While Moye provided stability on the mound, Georgia Southern’s offense broke loose, scoring in each of the first seven innings and out-hitting BC 16-7 on the day. Center fielder Matt Miller led the way, going 5-for-5 with four RBIs and tying GSU single-game records with five runs scored and three doubles.
    Catcher Griffin Benedict was also on fire at the plate, slamming a two-run bomb to dead centerfield to give Georgia Southern (1-2) a 6-0 lead in the third. He launched another ball out of the park the next inning, this time sending a three-run shot to right to push GSU’s lead to 11-2. Benedict’s two home runs and five RBIs were both career highs.
    Designated hitter Kyle Blackburn was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs, a double and a homer, and left fielder Jonathan King added a pair of hits for his third-straight multi-hit outing. BC (2-1) stayed away from Chris Shehan, walking the right fielder three times.
    By the fifth inning, Georgia Southern had stretched its lead to 16-2 after a two-run Miller homer, a Jeremiah Parker RBI sacrifice fly, an RBI groundout by A.J. Wirnsberger and Blackburn’s two-out solo shot off the scoreboard. GSU’s largest advantage was 18-3 in  the seventh after pinch hitter Ty Wright reached on a leadoff walk and later came home on a wild pitch.
    Taking the lead early and staying on top throughout the game made life significantly easier on GSU Sunday.
    “When you’ve got a guy on the mound going through innings real quick and we’re hitting consistently — it just gives us that much more confidence,” Miller said. “It’s always great to go out and beat a big school.
    “Yesterday we were just so anxious and a little too excited out there. Today we came down there relaxed and coach told us to just go out there, have fun and play how we know how to.”
    Moye, an 11th-round draft pick by the New York Mets out of high school who missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, held BC scoreless for the first 32⁄3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits over five innings. His only hiccup came in the fourth inning when second baseman Barry Butera sent the payoff pitch over the right-field fence for a two-out, two-run bomb to cut GSU’s lead to 6-2. Moye struck out four.
    “I felt great out there,” he said. “I thought I’d be a little nervous, but I wasn’t. I knew what I could do.”
    Up next for Georgia Southern are two more meetings with an ACC opponent as the Eagles hit the road for a two-game set at Georgia Tech beginning Tuesday at 4 p.m.
    “With ACC schools you always see good pitching and good hitting,” Miller said. “If we go out there and beat them a couple times, it’s just going to give us that much more confidence.”
Notes: Eight different GSU pitchers made their collegiate debuts this weekend. The best performance out of the bullpen Sunday came from freshman right hander Tony Chisman, who set BC down in order in the seventh…Georgia Southern junior closer Kyle Kamppi matched his career-high with three strikeouts… It was the third time in Miller’s career he’s had five hits…BC starter Nick Asselin (0-1) lasted just 2.1 innings, surrendering five earned runs on six hits.

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