Musketeers sail past Eagles

Colin Ritsick

The woes continue for the Georgia Southern University baseball team as it drops its fourth straight game this season to Xavier University on Friday night.

The Musketeers (2-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) sailed past the Eagles (4-5, 0-0 Southern Conference) 11-4 thanks in part to an eight-run fourth inning in which Xavier sent every man in its lineup to the plate.

The game started mildly enough, featuring a 1-1 tie going into the fourth inning. Sophomore pitcher Sam Howard (2-1) looked as if he was on route to his third solid outing of the season. The lefty threw three efficient innings, only allowing a run and striking out five. But as soon as the fourth frame began, the Musketeers slapped him around for six earned runs and forced head coach Rodney Hennon to pull him without even getting an out.

Offensively, the usual suspects were responsible for three of the Eagles’ four runs. Junior infielder Ben Morgan was 2 for 5 from the plate with two RBI. Sophomore catcher Chase Griffin knocked in a run as well. Junior infielder/utility man Brent Pugh has taken advantage of his recent opportunities in the starting lineup going 2 for 4 against the Musketeers. Pugh improved his batting average to .357 on the year.

Morgan made his first start this year away from third base as the junior took over short stop duties on Friday. He took over for freshman Cole Watson who has played smooth defense for the Eagles but has been slacking on offense. Watson has only recorded three hits in his 26 at-bats this season, resulting in a .115 average.

The Eagles will start game two of this series on Saturday. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m.