GREENVILLE, S.C. - Sam Howard tossed eight scoreless frames, and Chase Griffin drove in the winning run in the 11th inning as the Georgia Southern Eagles took the series from the Furman Paladins with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
Georgia Southern (30-19, 12-11) tossed their second-straight shutout for the first time since 1994 and picked up their 30th win of the season. The Eagles have now won 30 or more games in 14 of their last 15 seasons.
“It was a great college baseball game. You don't see many 1-0 college baseball games. Both teams really pitched well and there were some big defensive plays on both sides,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said.
Neither team crossed home plate through 10 innings but a two-out walk of Stryker Brown scored two batters later on Griffin's infield single to second base. Griffin hit a ball into the gap on the right side of the infield, but second baseman Simpson scooped it up but was unable to record an out. Brown hustled all the way from second base and scored the game's winning run.
The run gave Eric Alonzo his third win of the season. Alonzo (3-3) tossed 2.0 scoreless frames in relief of Howard and allowed one hit on 32 pitches. Jason Richman retired two batters in the 11th inning before giving way to Matt McCall. McCall (8) struck out Greg Harrison to end the game.
Howard bounced back after a rough outing at Wofford last week and held Furman (18-27, 7-12) to five hits and no runs over eight frames. Howard received a no decision but walked just one batter and struck out six on 119 pitches.
“It was an unbelievable effort from Sam Howard,” Hennon said. “He just battled and battled and made big pitches when he needed to. Eric Alonzo came in and did some good things as well.”
The Paladins' starter Jacques de Gruy matched Howard on the mound and threw 9.2 scoreless frames. Gruy walked four batters and struck out five on 116 pitches.
Ryan Morse took the loss after allowing one run on a walk. Morse (1-3) tossed an inning and struck out a batter.
“I am really proud of our team. Our kids hung in there and it was a good team win for us,” Hennon said.
The Eagles finished with five hits and left nine men on base. Chase Griffin and Garrett Chapman had two hits each.
Furman tallied six hits with two coming from Jordan Simpson.
Alonzo retired the side in the bottom of the ninth with a strike out of Chris Ohmstede and sent the Eagles to extra innings for the first time since May 4, 2013 vs. Furman.