April 24, 2010
Statesboro, Ga. - Georgia Southern hit four home runs including three, two-run shots in taking the Southern Conference series opener Friday night, 11-4, over Western Carolina at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Game two of the three-game conference set is scheduled for 2:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard online at www.CatamountSports.com with air time 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
Senior Tyler Kirkpatrick gave WCU a short-lived, 1-0, lead with his team-leading 10th home run of the season, a solo-shot in the top of the first inning. Kirkpatrick finished 2-for-4 with two RBI. However, Georgia Southern (22-17, 13-6 SoCon) answered back in the home half of the first, capitalizing on three-straight walks before a two-run single by A.J. Wirnsberger to go ahead, 2-1.
Catcher Randy Williams belted a solo homer in the bottom of the second to stretch the Eagles' lead to 3-1 which stood through the sixth inning. A two-run home run in the sixth and a six-run bottom of the seventh inning stretched GSU's advantage to 10 at 11-1.
Williams and Wirnsberger both finished 2-for-3 for GSU, with Shawn Payne posting a 2-for-4 performance.
The Catamounts pushed across three runs in the top of the eighth, opening with four-consecutive hits including a double by Matt Johns and RBI singles by Trevor Collias and Kirkpatrick. Freshman Tyler White added a RBI single to plate the third run of the frame to end the scoring and chased Eagle starting pitcher, Jake Brown (6-4). Brown worked seven and a third, scattering eight hits and allowing the four earned runs to secure the victory.
Johns finished 2-for-5 while Dylan de Graaf was 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.
For the Catamounts, freshman starter Taylor Sandefur struck out a career-high six in working a career-long six innings, but was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on four hits with five walks. All told, the Catamounts used five pitchers including four freshmen. T.J. Page tossed the final inning and a third of scoreless relief while allowing just two hits.
Additional Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina was without head coach Bobby Moranda during the game as he was serving a one-game suspension after being ejected in last Sunday's game at Elon ... Moranda will return to the dugout for Saturday's game two;
- Dating back over the past three seasons, Western Carolina remained winless in Statesboro (0-4) with the Catamounts having lost six of the last seven meetings with GSU;
- Freshman Tyler White's RBI single in the top of the eighth inning stretched his current hitting streak to a team-high - and career-best - 10 games;
- Taylor Sandefur worked a career-long six innings, striking out a career-high six in his first career weekend start.