Eagles unable to out-pitch visiting Phoenix; lose series 2-1

Ryan Kostensky

Game 1- EU 4, GS 2

Eagles strike out 20 times, fall to Elon 2-4 in game one of the three-game series.

In the opening game of their series against Elon, Georgia Southern fell by a score of 2-4, striking out 20 times and recording four errors in the process.

Junior RHP Brian Eichhorn took the mound for the Eagles, allowing two runs in his six innings pitched.

The Eagles never led in the game, getting down by two runs off of catcher James Venuto hit a two-run double, giving Elon a two-run lead.

GS came back in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, first baseman, Mason McWhorter drove home second baseman Steven Curry to bring the game within a run, 1-2.

Infielder Mitchell Golden scored the tying run that same inning as Elon’s catcher made an arrant throw to the shortstop, allowing Golden to score from third base.

The Phoenix would go ahead and take the lead for good in the seventh inning, when they would score off of back-to-back doubles.

Elon tacked on a run in the eighth inning when the Eagles committed two errors in the same play, bringing the score to 4-2.

The final ten recorded outs for GS were all strike outs, and they struck out 20 times in total. 20 times out of a possible 27.

Game 2- EU 3, GS 2

Despite coming back from a two-run deficit for the second time in as many games, the Eagles dropped game two to Elon.

It was sophomore pitcher Seth Shuman, who took the mound for Georgia Southern, allowing two runs over seven innings pitched, while fanning nine Phoenix batters.

The Eagles fell behind in the second inning of Saturday’s contest, behind an error (their 18th of the season) and two Seth Shuman walks. Shuman would settle in after, not allowing any more runs, while throwing 112 pitches.

GS struck back in the bottom half of the fifth after freshman Noah Searcy got drilled in the back by a pitch. Second baseman Steven Curry came up to the plate and delivered a ringing double to right field, driving in the Eagles’ first run.

The Eagles would tie it up in the very next inning, with freshman Jason Swan driving in Mitchell Golden, who had been hit by a pitch the previous inning, via a single. The game would remain tied at 2 until extras ensued.

In the top of the 10th inning, Elon scored the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning run off of a Phoenix double.

The Eagles put a runner at first and two outs, but good Elon defense thwarted any chance of a GS comeback.

Game 3- EU 4, GS 5

GS beat Elon in the final game of the three-game series by the score of 5-4, despite a Phoenix rally late in the game to pull the score within a run.

The Eagles got up by five runs early in the game, behind a pair of RBIs from both Mason McWhorter and Matt Anderson, and appeared to be running away with the series finale.

But Elon had something to say about that, scoring four unanswered runs to bring the game within one.

Eagles’ Head Coach Rodney Hennon, seemed pleased on his team’s performance to close the series out.

“I thought we swung the bats a little better, obviously we’ve been fighting it a little bit the last few games,” Hennon said. “We were able to get a lead early, and that was good to see.”

As for the series itself, the Eagles came out slow in the first two games, with minimal production at the plate, and messy play in the field, but Sunday was an optimistic step.

There were bright spots through the course of the series, with Seth Shuman pitching around two runs and getting into the seventh inning, giving his team a chance to win the game.

With Sunday’s win, the Eagles move back to .500 with a 6-6 record, and can improve that with a win on Tuesday against Holy Cross. First pitch set for 6 p.m.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne sports candidate, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu