Brooms come out at J.I. Clements

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Shakeem Holloway

A couple of fans at Sunday’s baseball game waved around their brooms as the Georgia Southern University baseball team swept Wofford College for its first Southern Conference series of the year.

“Sweeps are hard to come by. I’m proud of our team,” head coach Rodney Hennon said.

The Eagles (9-6, 3-0 SoCon) won by 7-2 on Friday, 3-0 on Saturday and 7-5 on Sunday, putting the Terriers (7-9, 0-3 SoCon) in an early hole in the conference standings. GSU is the only team with an undefeated record in the SoCon at this point in the season.

The Eagles’ starting pitchers dominated all three games this weekend.

Sophomore starter Sam Howard threw a career-high eight innings and was just too good for the Terriers on Friday night. He only allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out eight batters. The lefty now holds a 3-1 record on the season.

Freshman starter for Saturday’s game Jason Richman, also a lefty, was equally as dominant if not more so than Howard was on Friday and improved his record to 3-1 as well. He did not allow a run in his seven innings of work and only allowed three hits. Richman led GSU to its first shutout since the championship game of the SoCon tournament in 2011.

Looking for the Eagles first series sweep this year, Hennon sent his senior starter Justin Hess to the mound on Sunday. Hess threw five scoreless innings only allowing four hits and striking out three, effectively holding off Wofford long enough for GSU to grab a 6-0 lead before Hennon pulled him.

Offensively this weekend, the Eagles were similarly as dominant at the plate as on the mound.

Friday’s game at the plate was all about junior infielders Ben Morgan and Brent Pugh. Morgan was a near-perfect 4 of 5 from the plate with three RBI. Pugh was 1-2 with two RBI and two walks. The pair combined for five of the seven runs batted in for the Eagles that game.

The next game, however, was the bottom half of the lineup that produced the runs. Junior outfielder Robbie Dodds, junior designated hitter Arthur Owens and sophomore infielder Tyler Avera—the five, six and eight hitters—strung together seven of the Eagles’ 12 hits. Avera finished with two RBIs and Owens with one.

A five-run fifth inning was the dagger for the Terriers on Sunday. The inning was headlined by a homerun from Pugh that cleared the top of the scoreboard in left field, the first of his career. Sophomore catcher Chase Griffin, Dodds and Owens all went 2-4 with two RBI.

“It’s always good to see different guys contribute,” Hennon said about the production in the bottom half of the lineup for GSU. “Those guys had good approaches.”