April 18, 2004
Statesboro, Ga. - Western Carolina once again got solid pitching performances, but only managed two hits as Georgia Southern completed a three-game sweep with a 3-0 win over the Catamounts Sunday afternoon at Clements Stadium. The Eagles improve to 23-17 overall and 14-4 in the Southern Conference, while Western falls to 17-20, 7-11.
Georgia Southern took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. James Payne had a leadoff single and moved to second two batters later on a Grant Burruss single to center. Greg Dowling followed with an RBI single through right side, scoring Payne.
The Eagles took advantage of two singles and a WCU error to make it a 2-0 game in the bottom of the fifth. Flint Wipke had a leadoff single and, with one out, Brandon Ponder singled to left field, moving Wipke to third. However, on the play, the Catamounts made a fielding error, allowing Wipke to score.
In the bottom of the eighth, leadoff hitter Logan Phillips was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a Greg Dowling single to left. Mike Economos drove in Phillips with a single to left, making the score 3-0.
Eagle starting pitcher Josh Lairsey (1-1) pitched a season-high 8.0 innings, allowing two hits and not runs with two walks and five strikeouts. Brian Harrison pitched the ninth and did not allow a hit, run or walk with a strikeout for his fifth save of the season.
Western had four pitchers combine to allow just 10 hits and three runs with no walks and three strikeouts. Mike McGowan (0-1) started and pitched 3.1 innings. He pitched well, but suffered the loss by allowing four hits and one run with a strikeout. Alex Obert came in to pitch 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run with a strikeout. Brian Barnes followed and pitched 0.2 innings, retiring both batters he faced. Derrick Hawk pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run with a strikeout.
Jared Greenwood and Chad McKown accounted for WCU's two hits. Despite just two hits, WCU left eight men on base as the Cats were not able to take advantage of two walks and two Eagle errors.
Western Carolina will return to action on Wednesday (April 21) at nationally-ranked Clemson. First pitch is set for 7:15 pm.