For the fifth and final time of the 2018 baseball season, Georgia Southern lost to South Alabama. In a game filled with lots of runs for the Jaguars and lots of frustration for the Eagles, GS lost 12-0 in the elimination game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The first inning provided the most damage for the Eagles who allowed six runs very easily in the top of the frame. Freshman RHP David Johnson earned the start in the Friday afternoon, but was pulled after walking two Jaguars and allowing two runs, all in a row. Johnson was relieved by sophomore RHP Braxton Johns. With two Jaguars on base and a two run deficit, Johns tossed a three pitch strikeout to finally give the Eagles some light.
The light was quickly doused as Hunter Stokes launched a three run home run over the right field wall to make it a 5-0 game, still in the top of the first inning. Johns was able to get out of the inning only allowing one more run.
GS was unable to get anything done in the game until the bottom of the second with sophomore rightfielder Mason McWhorter hitting a single. The hit would be for nothing with USA’s Jared Proctor pitching lights out to end the inning.
Nursing a 9-0 lead, the Jaguars played it cool for a while on offense, but didn’t give the Eagles an inch with GS picking up just two hits the rest of the night. USA added three more runs for safety off of five hits in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 12.
The Eagles went on to lose their final game of the season 12-0 in 7 innings to cap a 30-26 season. While being shutout in the final game of the season is rough, the Eagles still did better than they looked in preseason. With one of the youngest rosters in GS history, this year’s team finished fifth in the conference having just two seniors on the team.
It was an underclassman led season with freshmen Christian Avant and Jason Swan finishing in first and third in batting average with McWhorter finishing second. All of the young pitching staff should return for the 2019 season, now with a season of competition under its belt.
McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Sports Editor, email@example.com