STATESBORO, GA – Chris Shehan’s two-out RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth broke an 8-8 tie and lifted Georgia Southern to a 9-8 victory and series sweep over UNC Greensboro Sunday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Chris Hollis reached base in the eighth with a one-out single to rightfield and then stole second with two outs to put himself in scoring position. After Matt Miller was intentionally walked to set up a righty versus righty situation, Shehan picked up both his second hit and RBI of the afternoon with his shot up the middle.
UNCG (17-25, 6-9 SoCon) took a 2-0 lead after plating a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Adam Deleo laced a one-out single up the middle and first baseman Logan Smith followed with a double down the leftfield line to put runners on second and third. After Greg Feltes was retired on an unlucky line drive directly to the shortstop, David Adams crushed the first pitch he saw into the left-centerfield gap for a double that scored both runners.
Georgia Southern (23-19, 10-5 SoCon) struck for three runs on five singles in the home half of the third to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead. Brett Pelfrey opened the inning with a single and Chris Hollis with his own single to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout by Brian Pierce, Matt Miller, Chris Shehan and Greg Dowling followed with back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to put the Eagles out in front by a run.
The Spartans used a pair of doubles the following half inning to tie the game at three runs apiece, and then took a 4-3 lead on Smith’s second hit of the afternoon. Guy Welsh led off with a two-bagger down the leftfield line and two batters later Greg Matson traded places with him on a double into the right-centerfield gap. After a walk to Deleo, Smith blooped a single into rightfield just in front of the diving Mike Economos to give UNCG a one run advantage and chase GSU starting pitcher Josh Lairsey in the process.
Economos tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning when he cranked a homerun over the centerfield wall for his fourth roundtripper of the season. Not to be outdone, Sean Snell flexed his muscles in the top of the sixth inning as the Charlotte, NC native hit his first homerun of the season just inside the foul pole in left to put UNCG in front 6-4. The Spartans added another run in the inning when Deleo, who recorded his second hit of the afternoon earlier in the inning, scored on a wild pitch charged to Matt Shurley.
The Eagles answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth with five base hits with two-outs to take a 8-7 lead. Spartan reliever Wes McCall retired the first two hitters with relative ease, but then ran into trouble after a two-out walk to designated hitter Jeremiah Parker. Economos followed with a single on the infield before Pelfrey skied a ball on the infield that found its way to the ground after some miscommunication by the Spartan infield, allowing Parker to score the first run of the inning. GSU went on to get RBI singles from Hollis, Pierce and Miller to account for the final three runs. Ten of the 17 total runs scored Sunday came with two outs.
Deleo collected his second double of the afternoon and seventh of the series when he tied the game at eight runs apiece with a two-bagger into leftfield that scored Snell who doubled before him.
David Cogswell (2-5) picked up the win in relief after allowing no runs on two hits in 1-2/3 innings of work.
Clinton McKinney (1-4) took the loss after surrendering one run on four hits while striking out one in two innings of mound duty.
Deleo and Smith led the Spartans at the plate as the duo both went 3-for-3 with an RBI. For Smith, it was his first three-hit game of his career.
UNCG returns to the diamond Wednesday at 6 p.m. when the Spartans welcome in-state rival Wake Forest to UNCG Baseball Stadium. Earlier this season, UNCG dropped a 17-2 decision against the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem.
Georgia Southern 9, UNC Greensboro 8 (Apr 23, 2006 at
UNC Greensboro...... 002 203 010 - 8 11 0 (17-25, 6-9 SoCon)
Georgia Southern.... 003 104 01X - 9 14 0 (23-19, 10-5 SoCon)
Pitchers: UNC Greensboro - Patrick Currin; Wes McCall(6); Clinton McKinney(6); Clay Gibson(8).
Georgia Southern - Lairsey; Chiciak(4); Shurley(6); Cogswell(8).
Win-Cogswell(2-5) Loss-Clinton McKinney(1-4) T-3:00 A-1172
HR UNCG - Sean Snell (1).
HR GSU - Economos (4).
- UNCG -