Georgia Southern takes series from the Mavericks

Layne Saliba

The Georgia Southern baseball team held the University of Texas at Arlington scoreless over the last eight innings of Saturday afternoon’s contest. The 8-1 victory helped the Eagles clench the series, which also gives them an opportunity to go for the sweep tomorrow.

Senior RHP Tripp Sheppard got the win after tying a career-high 6.2 innings pitched. Sheppard (4-2) finished the day giving up one unearned run, four hits and three strikeouts.

Senior SS Dalton Busby went three for three on the day with one run and one RBI.

Most of the action took place in the first inning beginning with a junior 2B Kent Rollins fielding error that led to an early run for the Mavericks (14-19, 5-9 SBC). However, in the bottom of the inning, the Eagles (21-15, 11-6 SBC) answered with three runs of their own.

Senior DH Kody Adams was hit by pitch and after two singles from his teammates and a wild pitch from the Mavericks, Adams scored to tie the game 1-1.

The wild pitch also advanced the two runners on base who would eventually score and give the Eagles a 3-1 advantage heading into the second inning.

The Eagles scored one more run in the bottom of the second inning increasing the lead to 4-1. UTA was held scoreless throughout the rest of the game while the Eagles plated two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Adams sent a two-run home run over the right-field fence in the eighth inning.

In the top of the third inning, though, senior RF Aaron Mizell layed out to get the second out number two. His diving catch undoubtedly stopped a Mavericks would-be double.

“I was pretty comfortable with it because we go pretty hard in practice,” Mizell said. “It was one of those plays where I knew Baldwin at center field would be backing me up. I just needed position. So it was one of those where I just wanted to lay out for my teammates and my pitcher so we could get a good start to the inning.”

Shortly after in the next inning, Georgia Southern turned a double play that may have been the best of the season. Busby dove to stop a grounder from getting to the outfield. Busby tossed the ball to Rollins at second who then barehanded the catch and threw a laser to Senior 1B Chase Griffin to complete the double play.

Later in the game, Adams recorded his first home run of the season and sixth of his career in the sixth inning, giving the Eagles the 8-1 lead and the victory.

First pitch for game three is set for Sunday at noon. Freshman LHP Connor Simmons will take the mound for the Sunday start.