A month ago almost to the date, the Georgia Southern baseball team was embarrassed at home 12-3 by Kennesaw State. The Eagles went through 10 pitchers in the losing effort. Wednesday night, however was a completely different story with GS using just five pitchers allowing only five hits in a solid 9-3 win over the Owls.
The leader of the defensive surge was redshirt freshman pitcher Jacob Parker. Fans will remember Parker’s early departure in his first career start against Georgia Tech back in February. But Wednesday night, Parker was outstanding going three innings allowing no hits, no runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
“Jacob Parker threw the ball really well,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said. “It was good to see him back out there. That was encouraging.”
The whole bullpen did well allowing just two hits in the final eight innings, but it was more than just the stellar play on the mound that gave the Eagles the win. Sophomore Steven Curry and freshmen Austin Thompson and Jason Swan were quick in the infield and did an incredible job of keeping the Owls off the bases.
There were several plays from those three that made the crowd rise to its’ feet in admiration. While those three were putting in work on defense, the rest of the team was getting on base with ease.
Down 3-0 in the top of the second, sophomore Mason McWhorter and senior Chandler Corley were walked followed by a Christian Avant hit by pitch to load the bases. Curry was then walked to score McWhorter before sophomore Mitchell Golden singled to left field to bring home Corley and Avant to tie the game at three. A wild pitch allowed Austin Thompson to get on base to score Curry, giving the Eagles the lead.
GS would hold on to the lead, but unlike in other games, the Eagles kept scoring all the way into the eighth inning to douse any chance of a KSU comeback. In one of their most convincing performances of the season, Coach Hennon was proud of the team for not letting up.
“(The bullpen) held them down offensively and gave us the chance to score some runs and take the lead,” Hennon said. “We’re playing with confidence right now and come out and play hard everyday. Right now we got a lot of different guys stepping up.”
The win over KSU was the Eagles’ 25th of the season and Coach Hennon’s 750th career win. The Eagles return to conference play as they take on Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, May 12.
McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]