Georgia Southern builds early lead to knock off No. 11 Georgia Tech 5-4
ATLANTA -- The Georgia Southern Eagles never surrendered an early 2-0 lead and knocked off No. 11 Georgia Tech 5-4 at Russ Chandler Stadium on Tuesday night.
Georgia Southern (13-7) loaded the bases in the first inning and scored two runs off of a single by Arthur Owens and a walk from Brent Pugh. Ben Morgan and Chase Griffin both walked before Robbie Dodds recorded a two-out infield single to load the bases. Owens followed with a base hit to right field before Pugh walked.
“It was a big win for our team against a very good Georgia Tech team. A team that has been red hot,” head coach Rodney Hennon said. “The big thing [Tuesday] was that we avoided that big inning. They earned every run that they got.”
Matt McCall (2-0) earned his second win of the season in relief of starter Evan Challenger, who allowed one run in two innings. McCall allowed one run during four innings and struck out two batters. He retired the first six batters he faced in order before allowing a single to Georgia Tech's (17-3) Dyle Dore in the fifth inning. Dore later scored on a bases-loaded walk by Zane Evans.
Justin Hess (2) struck out three batters in the final 1.2 innings to earn the save. Hess recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth. He allowed a run on back-to-back hits but struck out Daniel Palka to end the contest.
“We got outstanding pitching [Tuesday] from Evan Challenger, starting off the game. Matt McCall did a nice job coming in behind him. I thought Sam Howard was sharp out of the bullpen, and Justin Hess closed the game out,” Hennon said.
Jared Jillison (0-1) was handed his first decision of the season after surrendering the first two runs of the contest. Jillison allowed five hits and walked three in two innings. Eagle starter Evan Challenger allowed one run on four hits during two innings.
The Yellow Jackets cut into GSU's 2-0 lead with a single run in the second inning. Dore doubled down the left field line to score Mott Hyde, who singled with one out.
The Eagles extended their lead to two runs after a lead off walk by Cole Watson came around to score. Chase Griffin dropped a ball into the left field corner with two outs for a RBI triple.
Georgia Southern scored what would prove to be the game-winning run on a two-run homer by T.D. Davis in the seventh inning. Griffin walked with one out before Davis lifted a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his sixth home run of the season.