Baseball sweeps the Stags

Sophomore shortstop Mitchell Golden collected four hits in the weekend series against Fairfield. 

Andrew Weimer

Game 1- FU 3, GS 4

Georgia Southern had a hard-fought battle at home against Fairfield on Friday night. The Eagles improved their record to 2-3 in the game as the Stags dropped their first game of the season.

The pitching matchup was between Fairfield ace, John Signore, and junior RHP, Brian Eichhorn.

The Eagles did not start out well in the first inning. With one on and one out, a typical can of corn fly out became a double from Fairfield as the GS outfield lost it in the lights.

It seemed as the Eagles rebounded from that with a clutch strikeout from Eichhorn. However, the next batter hit a sharp single through the left side, resulting in the first two Fairfield runs.

For the next few innings, both starting pitchers held their own ground. That was until the bottom of the fourth.

Sophomore first baseman, Mason McWhorter, the Eagles’ usual clean-up hitter, led off the half inning with a double. Freshman right fielder, Noah Searcy, did his part to get McWhorter over to 3rd.

The next batter, sophomore catcher, Matt Anderson, drove the run home with a sacrifice fly, putting the Eagles on the board.

With the score being 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, sophomore second baseman, Steven Curry singled. Following a strikeout, freshman designated hitter, Jason Swan, hit a clutch two out double to tie the game at 2.

The top of the seventh brought on a pitching change for GS, sophomore RHP, Zach Strickland, replaced Eichhorn. Following a walk and a wild pitch, Strickland was soon replaced by sophomore RHP, Braxton Johns. Although Johns pitched well, a run was sacrificed, giving Fairfield a 3-2 lead.

The bottom of the seventh brought 2 GS runs off of one hit. To start the inning, Curry was hit by a pitch, followed by a single from sophomore third baseman, Mitchell Golden, followed by a walk from Swan.

With 2 strikes on him, McWhorter hit a rocket to left center field’s warning track, which was caught by their left fielder. Although the hit certainly looked like a grand slam, it fell short, allowing a run to score, tying the game back up at 3.

The next batter, Searcy got himself a sacrifice fly as well, giving the Eagles a 4-3 lead.

In the top of the eighth, junior RHP, Chase Cohen, came into the game with one out. He got out of the eighth and pitched into the ninth, striking out 2 out of 3 players in the inning, getting the final out on a ground out to Curry and second base.

The win went to Johns, giving him his first win of the season, and the save went to Cohen, giving him his second of the season. This marked the Eagles’ first home win of the season.

Game 2- FU 2, GS 7

Saturday afternoon, Georgia Southern’s baseball team got their offense rolling early, eventually leading them to a 7-3 victory. They improved their record to 3-3 on the season.

The pitching matchup in the game was between Peter Horn (Fairfield) and GS standout, sophomore RHP, Seth Shuman.

The Eagles scored first by way of a sophomore first baseman, Mason McWhorter, strikeout. As McWhorter swung at strike 3, freshman designated hitter, Jason Swan, started to run in the 2nd. In the rundown, sophomore shortstop, Mitchell Golden, stole home, giving the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.

The 2nd inning also added a run for the Eagles. With 2 outs in the inning, freshman center fielder, Johns Hamilton, singled in junior right fielder, Jaxxon Fagg, who started off the half inning with a single.

The bottom of the third inning showed GS’ offensive strength, proving they can play small ball to score some runs.

The first run came off a McWhorter single. The next batter, freshman left fielder, Noah Searcy, singled down the right field line, bringing in McWhorter, who had since advanced to second off a throwing error by the pitcher.

The last run came from a Jaxxon Fagg double off the wall in right center field, bring Searcy home.

Neither team scored again until the top of the seventh, as one bad pitch from Shuman, who otherwise pitched a gem, allowed for a three-run bomb over the right-center field fence.

GS added another 2 runs in the eighth, one coming from Hamilton being hit by a pitch and the second coming from an RBI force out from sophomore second baseman, Steven Curry. These runs boosted the Eagle lead to 7-3.

For the final two innings of the game, junior RHP, Cole Whitney, came in for relief for Shuman.

He pitched two outstanding innings, giving up two hits and striking out one on the way to his first save of the season. The final score of the game ended up being 7-3, Shuman earning his 2nd win of the season.

Game 3- FU 5, GS 8

On Sunday morning, the team concluded their season finale against Fairfield. GS earned the sweep, winning their 3rd game in a row. The pitching matchup was between Austin Pope (Fairfield) and freshman RHP David Johnson (GS).

Both pitchers dominated the game at the start of the game. It took until the fifth inning for either team to put a run on the board. This run came from Fairfield, a 2-out single up the middle, giving the Stags a 1-0 lead.

The Fairfield lead did not last long. In the bottom of the fifth, while trying to walk sophomore second baseman, Steven Curry, with the bases loaded, the Stags pitcher threw a ball over the catcher to the backstop, bringing home freshman center fielder, Johns Hamilton, who started the inning with an infield single.

This tied the game at 1.

In the top of the seventh, Fairfield retook the lead. Once again, with 2 outs, a double to left field brought home a run, giving the Stags a 2-1 lead.

The bottom of the seventh also brought a run in for the Eagles. Pinch hitter, senior center fielder, Chandler Corley, grounded into a force out to bring home sophomore first baseman, Mason McWhorter, who singled to start the half inning.

Fairfield retook the lead again in the top of the eighth, however, it was not enough to stop the breakout inning for the Eagles. The inning started with back-to-back walks from Hamilton and Curry.

On a bunt by sophomore shortstop, Mitchell Golden, Fairfield made an error, allowing for Hamilton to score, tying the game at 3. After a few pitching changes, freshman left fielder, Christian Avant, was hit by a pitch, bringing in another run, giving the Eagles a 4-3 lead.

Sophomore designated hitter, Roury Glanton, and Corley singled back-to-back to bring in 2 more runs. This was followed by back-to-back sacrifice flies, bringing in another 2 runs.

By the end of the inning, the Eagles had a comfortable lead, 8-3.

The ninth inning was not an easy ordeal as the Eagles gave up 2 more runs. Junior RHP, Chase Cohen, started the inning and lasted for 2 outs. Sophomore RHP, Braxton Johns, recorded the last out for the Eagles, giving GS an 8-5 win.

In the series, the starting pitchers for the Eagles, junior RHP, Brian Eichhorn, sophomore RHP, Seth Shuman, and freshman RHP, David Johnson, each pitched outstandingly.

Relief pitchers, Chase Cohen and Braxton Johns, each had a good series. Cohen pitched 2.2 innings while earning a save. Braxton Johns recorded a win and a save over the weekend, lasting for a total 1.2 innings while only allowing 1 hit.

On the offensive side of the game, Steven Curry and Mitchell Golden led the way with 4 hits each over the three games.

What’s next?

The Eagles’ next game is Tuesday against the Citadel at 5 PM, the beginning of a 2-game road trip in South Carolina.

Their next series is at home over the weekend against Elon.

Every game can be listen to on Ga Southern Sports Network and the Elon series can be viewed on True Blue TV.