Challenger leads the Eagles past Louisiana-Lafayette

Layne Saliba

The Georgia Southern baseball team took the series opener against Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday evening with a final score of 2-1.

Redshirt sophomore LHP Evan Challenger pitched seven innings and held the Ragin’ Cajuns (15-12, 7-5 SBC) to just two hits. Challenger (3-0) remains unbeaten this season after throwing a career-high nine strikeouts on the night.

Redshirt junior LF Hunter Thomas went two for two at the plate. He added one RBI by way of a sacrifice bunt in the opening inning. This put the Eagles (18-13, 8-5 SBC) ahead 1-0.

However, ULL answered with a home run on the first pitch from Challenger in the bottom of the first inning.

Challenger did not let the home run rattle him. He went on to sit down 14 straight batters, not allowing another hit until the fifth inning.

No more runs were scored until the Eagles got the go ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. Senior RF Aaron Mizell singled to right field to lead off the inning. Senior C Chase Griffin grounded out, and Thomas walked while Griffin advanced to third on a wild pitch. Finally, Mizell scored after senior SS Dalton Busby laid down a sacrifice bunt, giving the Eagles the 2-1 lead.

That is all they needed. The Eagles turned a double play to end the game on a high note and take game one of the series. Game two will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. with senior RHP Tripp Sheppard on the mound for the Eagles.