Ga. Southern 10-5, Citadel 1-2
Georgia Southern limited The Citadel to three runs in 18 innings and swept a doubleheader by scores of 10-1 and 5-2 on Saturday at Riley Park.
The twinbill victory completed a weekend sweep and improved the Eagles to 23-10 overall and 7-5 in the SoCon. The Bulldogs dropped to 13-20 and 1-11 and were outscored 22-3 after taking an early 4-0 lead in the series opener on Friday.
In the opener of the doubleheader, Eagle junior right-hander Josh Wirsu was in control throughout his 132-pitch complete game. He struck out 13 batters, the most by an opposing pitcher since Daniel Caldwell of N.C. State fanned the same number of Bulldogs on Feb. 15, 2002.
Wirsu (6-2) struck out at least one batter in each inning and had two punchouts in four frames. He allowed six hits and one walk and gave up his only run in the third on a single and two stolen bases by Mason Davis and a throwing error when the Bulldog second baseman swiped third.
By that time, however, Georgia Southern had built a 5-0 lead against Austin Livingston. After retiring the first six Eagles, Livingston surrendered a walk and two singles to start the third, with a base hit by Kody Adams driving in two runs. A sacrifice fly and wild pitch brought home runs three and four, and Garrett Chapman had an RBI single to cap the inning.
Livingston went 2.2 innings and allowed four hits and five runs (three earned) with a walk and strikeout in dropping to 1-4 on the year. The Eagles added three runs off Kevin Connell in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
In the nightcap, the trio of Ryan Frederick, Jason Richman and Matt McCall kept The Citadel off the scoreboard until the Bulldogs tried to rally in the ninth. Bret Hines singled for his third hit of the game and scored on a pinch hit double by Connor Walsh, his first career extra base hit.
After Davis drove in Walsh with a ground out, Hughston Armstrong singled and Bo Thompson walked to bring the tie run to the plate. But McCall struck out Tyler Griffin and got Drew DeKerlegand to pop out to short to preserve his seventh save of the year.
The three-hit game was the second of Hines' career. The sophomore also had three safeties at Georgia Southern last April 12. DeKerlegand recorded his 200th career hit in the first game and added two more in the second contest.
Austin Mason started for the Bulldogs and allowed only four hits and three runs (two earned) with six strikeouts through five innings. The Eagles scored an unearned run in the first and got a two-run single from Dalton Busby in the fourth, taking their 3-0 lead all the way to the ninth.
Georgia Southern added a pair of insurance runs off closer Skylar Hunter in the ninth that proved critical when The Citadel staged its late comeback attempt.
Richman relieved Frederick with two outs in the third and limited the Bulldogs to five hits and no runs while striking out six over the next 4.1 innings to pick up his fifth win against no losses on the year. Mason took the loss and fell to 1-2.
The Citadel plays its lone midweek game at East Tennessee State on Wednesday before heading to Boone, N.C., for its next SoCon series against Appalachian State beginning Friday.