STATESBORO - Georgia Southern posted an 11-2 victory over Georgia Sunday to claim the rubber game of the series in front of 3,024 at Jack Stallings Field.
The Eagles (2-1) built a 4-0 lead off sophomore right-hander Luke Crumley in the first. GSU sent eight men to the plate, collecting five hits including RBI-doubles by T.D. Davis and Hunter Thomas to highlight the outburst. In the second inning, third baseman Ben Morgan smashed a three-run home run to extend the Eagles lead to 7-0.
The Bulldogs (1-2) turned to redshirt freshman Mike Mancuso to start the third. He provided two scoreless innings of relief before allowing a leadoff home run to start the fifth. Crumley took the loss after surrendering seven runs on seven hits in two innings. GSU freshman left-hander Jason Richman was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, and he was extremely sharp in his debut. Richman picked up the win, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on three hits in 5.1 innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Georgia got on the board courtesy of an opposite field solo home run from freshman Zack Bowers to start the fifth frame. It came in his second career at bat. The Eagles got the run back in their half of the inning when Davis led off with a solo home run. Davis collected his third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly in the sixth as part of a three-run frame off sophomore Heath Holder for an 11-1 lead. Bowers added a two-out RBI-single in the ninth, scoring senior Kyle Farmer who led off with a double.
"We didn't see this one coming and part of it was another bad start to the game," said Georgia coach David Perno. "However, we learned a lot about our team, and this is just the first series. I am a little disappointed offensively, but I liked what I saw from Zack Bowers today. We didn't make some plays today, and hopefully we'll get some things cleaned up and be more threatening offensively. I credit Georgia Southern, they did a good job against us."
Georgia returns to action Wednesday when it plays host to Kennesaw State. First pitch for the Foley Field home opener will be at 5 p.m. Georgia plans to start freshman right-hander David Gonzalez while the Owls have not announced a starter.