May 13, 2012
Statesboro, Ga. - Georgia Southern got all the runs it would need in a two-run fifth inning on Sunday afternoon as the Eagle pitchers held the potent Western Carolina lineup in check to claim the series with a 2-1 victory in the rubber match at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Western Carolina could only muster a season-low three hits against a trio of GSU pitchers after the game was delayed three hours by rain showers.
Catamount starter freshman Jeremy Null (4-4) scattered nine hits through six and a third innings in suffering the loss on the afternoon. Null allowed the two runs, walking one and striking out three in his third-straight quality start. Junior Preston Hatcher threw the final inning and two thirds, walking one and fanning two out of the WCU bullpen.
Western Carolina (30-20, 14-13 SoCon) took an early lead in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman Jacob Hoyle drew a two-out walk ahead of sophomore Cody Jones who then doubled off the fence down the right field line that allowed Hoyle to score all the way from first base for the 1-0 lead.
In the home half of the fifth, Georgia Southern pushed across two runs to pull ahead for good. Eric Phillips, who finished the weekend just two hits shy of tying GSU's career hits record, drove in leadoff man Scotter Williams on a sacrifice fly to right field. Catcher Chase Griffin kept the inning alive with an infield single before T.D. Davis provided the two-out RBI to plate the eventual game-winning run.
Senior reliever Jarret Leverett (4-1) picked up the victory after tossing four innings out of the bullpen, holding the Catamounts scoreless and to just one single. The southpaw struck out three before giving way to closer Kyle Rowe who earned save number five in an inning of hitless, scoreless relief while striking out two.
All told, GSU pitching combined to retire 14-consectuve WCU hitters over the final four and two thirds innings to end the game.
Western Carolina returns home for the final four games of the regular season at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. The Catamounts host Winthrop in nonconference action on Tuesday evening at 5:00 pm before hosting archrival Appalachian State for a three-game SoCon series, Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19. WCU will honor its four seniors prior to first pitch on Saturday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 pm.