STATESBORO — Georgia Southern posted an 11-2 victory over Georgia on Sunday to claim the rubber game of the series in front of 3,024 at Jack Stallings Field.
The Eagles (2-1) built a 4-0 lead off sophomore right-hander Luke Crumley in the first.
GSU sent eight men to the plate and collected five hits, including RBI doubles by T.D. Davis and Hunter Thomas to highlight the outburst.
“We didn’t see this one coming and part of it was another bad start to the game,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “However, we learned a lot about our team, and this is just the first series. I am a little disappointed offensively, but I liked what I saw from Zack Bowers (Sunday). We didn’t make some plays (Sunday), and hopefully we’ll get some things cleaned up and be more threatening offensively. I credit Georgia Southern, they did a good job against us.”
Former Lee County star Chase Griffin was one of six GSU hitters with at least one RBI. The catcher was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
In the second inning, third baseman Ben Morgan smashed a three-run home run to extend the Eagles lead to 7-0.
The Bulldogs (1-2) turned to redshirt freshman Mike Mancuso to start the third.
He provided two scoreless innings of relief before allowing a leadoff home run to start the fifth.
Crumley took the loss after surrendering seven runs on seven hits in two innings.
GSU freshman left-hander Jason Richman was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, and he was extremely sharp in his debut. Richman picked up the win, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Georgia got on the board courtesy of an opposite field solo home run from Bowers to start the fifth frame. It came in his second career at bat.
The Eagles got the run back in their half of the inning when Davis led off with a solo home run. Davis collected his third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly in the sixth as part of a three-run frame off sophomore Heath Holder for an 11-1 lead. Bowers added a two-out RBI single in the ninth, scoring senior Kyle Farmer, who led off with a double.
Georgia returns to action Wednesday when it plays host to Kennesaw State. First pitch for the Foley Field home opener will be at 5 p.m.
Georgia plans to start freshman right-hander David Gonzalez, while the Owls have not announced a starter.
No. 21 Georgia Tech completes sweep of Akron
ATLANTA — Visiting Akron brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but No. 21 Georgia Tech held off the Zips, 5-3, to sweep the season-opening series at Russ Chandler Stadium. Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas each had three hits to pace the Jackets.
Wren was 3-for-5, tripled and scored, while Thomas was 3-for-4, doubled and scored for Tech (3-0), which pounded out 11 hits as a team and swept on opening weekend for the first time since 2010.
Sophomore starter Cole Pitts was efficient in six innings of work, and picked up the win by fanning seven, walking one and allowing just three hits and two runs. In three games this weekend, Tech pitchers struck out 35 batters, walked six, and of the 18 hits allowed, only three went for extra bases.
“I thought Cole was a little inconsistent with his fastball early on, but had pretty good command of his fastball and his breaking stuff,” Tech head coach Danny Hall said. “All told, he was in command most of the day, made pitches when he had to, and we’ll take seven strikeouts and one walk any day of the week.”
Akron (0-3) took its first lead of the series in the second inning when Joey Havrilak opened the scoring with a solo home run to right off Pitts. The sophomore righty settled in after the homer, retiring 11 of the next 12 Zips to allow the Jackets to take the lead.
FSU sweeps Rhode Island on 10th inning walk-off
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With a travel curfew looming, freshman D.J. Stewart made sure Sunday’s game against Rhode Island (0-3) would not end in a tie as the Yulee, Fla., native blasted a walk-off, two-run home run over the fence in right center in the bottom of the 10th to give No. 9 Florida State an 8-6 victory and the series sweep over the Rams.
Senior captain Justin Gonzalez got the wheels in motion in the 10th as he registered a one out single through the left side off URI’s Brendan Doonan (0-1). One batter later he was grinning from ear to ear waiting for Stewart to cross home plate to put the finishing touches on his late game heroics.
“This was one that you’re just so proud to be a Seminole,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “Our young men persevered. We are down 5-0, and our young men stayed tough at the plate. We put together some good at-bats and got ourselves back in the game.”
Stewart’s first career home run kept the Seminoles (3-0) undefeated.
“I was looking for my pitch to hit and drive it,” Stewart said. “I knew it was gone when I hit it. When I hit first and saw the ball clear the fence, I was pretty happy about the result.”
Six-run 6th sends Auburn to series sweep of Maine
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn scored six times in the sixth inning to erase a two-run deficit and come back for an 8-4 win over Maine on Sunday.
The win improved the Tigers’ record to 4-0 for the first time since 2008 and just the 17th time since 1949.
“It wasn’t easy (Sunday). We were down 3-1 in the sixth inning and we didn’t have much momentum going,” Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said. “We got a little of a momentum shift. That says a lot about the leaders in this clubhouse. They knew what the challenge was and how important this game was. Fortunately for us we were able to put some runs together in the sixth inning.”
Trailing 3-1 going to the bottom of the sixth, Auburn sent 11 men to the plate in the inning, scoring all six runs before there were two outs in the inning. Freshman Jordan Ebert delivered the big hit, singling to right-center to bring Cullen Wacker and Sam Gillikin home to break a 3-3 tie.
“To get a sweep and to get a little momentum, it’s going to help the fan support and it’s a spark for our team,” Ebert said. “This could turn into a really good year and this is a great way to start it off.”
Auburn’s offense was far from done there as Dan Glevenyak and Ryan Tella each stroked run-scoring singles to push the lead to 7-3.
Glevenyak, Damek Tomscha and Ebert all finished the day with two hits as eight out of nine Auburn starters collected at least one hit, and seven out of nine drove in a run.