From Ga Southern Sports Information:
STATESBORO, Ga. – Alex Ledford allowed two runs over 7.1 innings and Heath Quinn delivered the go ahead run in the sixth inning as the Samford Bulldogs won the Southern Conference series opener over the Georgia Southern Eagles 7-2 on Saturday.
Ledford and Georgia Southern (26-14, 8-8) starter Sam Howard dueled for five innings before Samford (23-15, 8-5) was able to take a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning.
Ledford faced the minimum in both the sixth and seventh innings before walking Stryker Brown to start the eighth inning. Brown would eventually come around to score the Eagles’ second run of the day on Kody Adams’ infield single.
“We need to come out ready to play a little bit better. I thought our energy early was not where it needed to be. We pitched ok early in the game but for nine innings they played the game better than we did. They out-pitched us, out-hit us and played better defense,” Assistant Coach B.J. Green said.
Ledford did not allow a hit until a one-out single by Dalton Busby in the third inning. Ledford (6-2) earned his sixth victory of the year after allowing four hits, three walks and striking out seven on 103 pitches.
Howard struck out four Bulldogs over the first two innings, including all three batters in the first inning, and did not allow a hit until a lead off single in the fourth inning.
Howard struck out two more to start the sixth inning but gave up a run after a walk and back-to-back singles to Drew McWhorter and Quinn. Howard (4-5) took the loss after surrendering five hits, three runs and striking out seven batters over six innings.
“He threw the ball well. His pitch count kind of got up there in the sixth. He was at 100 pitches, and he is going to have to come back next week on short rest. There were a couple of pitches that I think he wished he made a little bit better of a pitch,” Green said.
Samford tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning on Hunter Swilling’s second home run of the season and scored three more in the ninth inning on a double by Jared Watson and a single from Filliben.
The Eagles answered the Bulldogs’ fifth-inning run on a double from Dalton Busby that hit off the wall in right field.
Rain wrecked havoc on the series schedule and forced the opener to be pushed back from Friday to Saturday. Both teams showed up Saturday expecting to play at noon before rain again forced a delay. After a short rain shower that started right as the umpires were meeting at home plate, the contest got underway at 2:34 p.m.
Baseball will conclude the series tomorrow with a doubleheader at noon. Josh Wirsu and Matt McCall will get the starts for GSU.