April 2, 2011

Eagles Power Past Bulldogs In Game Two, 15-2

Statesboro, Ga. – Georgia Southern's Victor Roache hit three homers and drove in six to lead the Eagles to a lopsided 15-2 win over The Citadel on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,372 fans at J.I. Clements Stadium.

The Eagles (17-11, 8-3) pounded out 21 hits, which is the most a team has had against The Citadel since Davidson registered 21 hits on April 21, 2007. The 13-run loss is also the largest margin of defeat for the Bulldogs (10-17, 5-9) since they fell 21-8 at College of Charleston on April 7, 2009. It is the largest margin of victory for Georgia Southern over The Citadel ever in Statesboro and ties the largest margin of victory ever against the Bulldogs overall which was a 17-4 win in Charleston on May 13, 2007.

The game did not start well early for the Bulldogs as the Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the first off Citadel starter Austin Pritcher (Charleston, S.C.). After striking out the first two batters of the game, Eric Phillips drew a walk on four pitches and scored on what appeared to be a fly out to right by Victor Roache that carried out of the ballpark with the wind blowing out for a two-run homer. Michael Burruss then singled and scored on a double by Steve Cochrane, who then came into score on a groundball that was booted at shortstop by Legare Jones (Columbia, S.C.) for the fourth run of the inning.

The Bulldogs would threaten for a big inning in the top of the second as they loaded the bases against Georgia Southern starter Josh Adams when Justin Mackert (Cleveland, Ohio) singled, William Ladd (Winnsboro, S.C.) was hit by a pitch and Joe Jackson (Mauldin, S.C.) reached on a sac bunt attempt when Adams' throw pulled the GSU first baseman off the bag. A sac fly to left by Drew DeKerlegand would plate Mackert but a pair of fly outs would squander further scoring opportunities, leaving the score at 4-1.

Things would come unraveled for Pritcher in the second as Brent Pugh led off with a hit and moved to third on a base knock by leadoff man Shawn Payne. After Payne was picked off, Ben Morgan got on base with a bunt single when Pritcher's throw did not reach first base in time, allowing Pugh to score. Roache followed with his second two-run homer of the game, this time to deep right center to put the Eagles in front 7-1 and knock Pritcher from the game.

In the fourth, the Bulldogs would get the leadoff runners aboard when Ladd and Jackson each reached on singles. A sac fly to center by Tyler Griffin (Hawthorne, Fla.) would cut the lead to 7-2, but the Eagles would come back with four in the bottom of the frame when Payne doubled and scored on an error by DeKerlegand at third on a hard hit ball off the bat of Eric Phillips. A double by Roache would put runners on second and third and chase Bulldog reliever TJ Clarkson (Coral Springs, Fla.) from the game. Burruss then singled home Phillips, Cochrane scored Roache on an RBI single and Tom Richardson singled in Burruss off reliever Logan Cribb (Rock Hill, S.C.) to make the score 11-2.

Roache would hit his third two-run homer of the game in the fifth, making it the first time a Georgia Southern player has accomplished that feat since 2000, when he went deep of Bulldog reliever David Leeth (Hartsville, S.C.), scoring Morgan who reached on an error by Orvin at second base. The Eagles would tack on a run in the sixth with an RBI single by Pugh and in the eighth on an RBI single by Phillips to cap the scoring. Leeth, who had only one appearance on this season prior to today, finished the game for The Citadel, going 4.0 innings, allowing eight hits, four runs (two earned), a walk and struck out two.

Pritcher (3-3) had his shortest outing of the season, going just 1.2 innings and allowing a season-high seven runs (six earned) on seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts while taking the loss. Adams (5-3) picked up the win going 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, a walk and struck out three.

Roache becomes the first player to pick up six RBI in a game against The Citadel since Wofford's Brandon Waring did it on April 2, 2005. Roache went 4-for-5 with four runs, six RBI, three homers and a double to lead the Eagles. Jackson went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead The Citadel.

The Citadel and Georgia Southern conclude their three-game series on Sunday at J.I. Clements Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM in Charleston and online with play-by-play announcer Darren Goldwater and will feature live stats. For more information on Bulldog Baseball, visit all new CitadelSports.com.

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