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Miller's walk-off sends Pitt packing
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 10th inning over the right field fence, giving Georgia Southern a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh in the nightcap of the Keith LeClair Classic. The Eagles won both games Saturday, improving to 6-5 overall.

Pitt (3-5) put the leadoff batter of its half of the 10th on second base following a throwing error by shortstop Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell). The junior made up for it, fielding a grounder and nailing Nick Mullins at third base for the first out of the inning. Burt Barto (Columbus/Columbus) got Sean Conley to ground into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play to set up Miller’s heroics.

Georgia Southern scored first thanks to a Panther error in the first frame. Jonathan King (Athens, TN/McMinn County) reached on a fielding error with one out. He looked to be picked off trying to steal second but slid around the tag for his second stolen base this year. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bear Bryant) dropped a two-out RBI single into shallow left to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Drew Murray (LaGrange/LaGrange) carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before the leadoff hitter Mullins hit a 3-2 pitch up the middle. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt then third on a groundout. The Eagles brought the infield in but Danny Lopez was able to drop a bloop single into shallow right field to tie the game. Jordan Herr hit a RBI single in the seventh for a 2-1 lead.

Jeremiah Parker (Carrollton/Carrollton) walked to start the bottom of the seventh. Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) and Pierce both laid down a bunt attempt but both were able to beat it out for an infield hit. That loaded the bases with no one out, and also chased starter Rob Brant.

Relief pitcher David Kaye got Jeremy Beckham (Griffin/Griffin) to ground into a double play, but the tying run scored. The Eagles had runners in scoring position twice in the ninth, but each was thrown out at the plate off singles from Pierce and Beckham for the second and third out.

“When we had those two guys thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the ninth that took the emotion from us. Burt (Barto) did a great job on the mound and shut them down in the 10th,” said Miller. “I really didn’t want to put in my mind to hit a home run. I was looking for a fastball down the middle then try and square up to hit it. Aaron (Eubanks) threw six strong innings earlier today, Drew threw well through seven and our bullpen did a great job today.”

Murray was charged for two runs on four hits in seven innings, the longest outing by an Eagle starter all season. He struck out seven (tying for the second-most Ks in his career) and walked one. Ryan Steidl (Randolph, N.J./Morris Knolls), Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine Military) and Barto (1-1) closed the door on the Panthers.

Pierce had three of the Eagles’ seven hits.

Kaye (0-1) gave up one run on three hits in three innings. Brant allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings, striking out nine to four walks. Four different Panthers had a base hit.

GS wraps up the Keith LeClair Classic Sunday afternoon facing host East Carolina with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.