Feb. 10, 2007
STATESBORO, Ga. – Danny Payne went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks in his return to the baseball diamond, but it wasn’t enough as Georgia Southern (2-2) stopped Georgia Tech (0-1) in the Yellow Jackets’ season opener, 11-4, at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Jeremy Beckham led the Eagles with three hits on the day, and Matt Miller had a game-high five RBI against the Yellow Jackets.
Luke Murton also went 2-for-3 with a double for the Jackets as Tech was held to just six hits and four runs by the Eagles’ trio of Drew Murray, Charlie Strohecker and A.J. Battisto.
Strohecker earned his second win of the season by tossing 1.1 innings in relief, allowing just one run on two hits, and Battisto earned his first save of the year by holding the Jackets hitless over the final three innings of the game.
The win was the Eagles’ first against the Jackets in Statesboro since 1996.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Beckham doubled to center field, stole third base, and scored on an RBI single by Miller.
With an RBI single by A.J. Wirnsberger and a bases-clearing double from Miller, Georgia Southern added four runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead, before a solo home run by Wirnsberger in the third inning made the score 6-0 in favor of the home team.
The Jackets scratched for three runs in the top of the fourth, aided by a pair of Georgia Southern fielding errors. Luke Murton reached on an error by pitcher Drew Murray to begin the inning and advanced to second on a single by Wally Crancer. Tony Plagman moved the two over with a sacrifice bunt before Murton scored on an error by the second baseman, Beckham. An RBI single by Jeff Ussery plated Crancer and advanced Chris House, who reached base on the error by Beckham, to third base, before an RBI single by Danny Payne drove in House for the third run of the inning.
Georgia Southern added three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-3 lead. Wirnsberger reached on a one-out walk and advance to third on back-to-back singles by Phillip Porter and Brian Pierce. After a wild pitch by reliever Jared Hyatt scored Winesberger, Chris Hollis drove in Porter and Pierce with a single to right field.
Murton doubles to lead off the seventh inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly by Patrick Long to pull the Jackets to within five runs at 9-4.
The Eagles added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning for the final 11-4 margin.
Tech starter David Duncan took the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in five hittings.
The Jackets and Eagles conclude the two-game series Sunday afternoon with first pitch slated for 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CSS with Matt Stewart and Tech great Randy Carroll calling the action, while livestats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.