CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 27, 2004) -- Second-seeded Georgia Southern defeated East Tennessee State, 12-4, from Riley Park in Charleston, S.C., eliminating the Bucs from the Southern Conference Baseball Tournament, sponsored by the Virginia-Carolina Peanut Growers and the National Peanut Board.
Georgia Southern starter Josh Lairsey allowed just two earned runs while throwing all nine innings for the Eagles, improving to 4-1.
Eagle third baseman Logan Phillips went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Brandon Long was 4-of-5 from the plate for GSU with two runs scored while leftfielder Jason Hurst collected three hits, three runs scored, and two RBI.
Georgia Southern (34-24) moves on to face the loser of the Elon/Western Carolina game Friday at 10:00 a.m.
GSU jumped ahead in the second inning on a Logan Phillips single that scored Hurst.
The Eagles did the bulk of their damage, however, in the top of the third. They quickly loaded the bases with a Long walk and singles by Grant Burruss and Greg Dowling. Hurst drove in the inning's first run with a single to left. Two runs then scored when centerfielder Tim Turner misplayed a fly ball, upping the Eagles' lead to 4-0. Flint Wipke then drove in a run with a groundout, and Phillips tallied his second RBI with another single, this time to centerfield.
ETSU sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) opened the bottom of the third with a double to left center. He eventually came around to score, putting the Bucs' on the board, down 6-1.
Georgia Southern added two more unearned runs in the fifth inning as a result of another ETSU fielding error, and Phillips collected his third RBI in the seventh inning, driving in Hurst with his third single of the day.
ETSU scored runs in the sixth and seventh inning to climb to within five runs, but Georgia Southern extended its lead to 12-4 with three more in the eighth, putting the game out of reach.
With the loss, ETSU (28-30) is eliminated from the tourney.
ETSU sophomore starter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) took the loss for the Bucs, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits in three innings. He walked three while striking out one.
Senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Bucs while sophomore outfielder Matt Traylor drove in two runs and Roberts scored two runs.
"If you look at the games teams have won in the tournament, they have gotten great starting pitching and timely hitting," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. "It is very frustrating because we have not been able to do that. Our program made leaps and bounds this year. We beat Kentucky, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and swept The Citadel. We're going to continue to recruit hard, recruit quality players, and I think we can be 10 wins better next year."