CLEMSON, S.C. — Ryan Cleveland tallied four hits and drove in five runs including the eventual game-winner in the ninth inning as Georgia Southern rallied for a 7-4 win over Clemson in the series finale Sunday.
The Eagles took their first lead of the game in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout from Chase Griffin and an RBI single from Cleveland.
Cal Baker and Kody Adams both reached base to start the frame on a walk and a bunt single, respectively.
Cleveland added a three-run homer to center field in the ninth inning to give the Eagles a four-run lead. The sophomore first baseman doubled in the fourth inning and tallied a pair of two-out RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings before hitting his ninth homer of the year in the ninth inning.
“It was a big day for Ryan Cleveland. He put up some big hits for us and made a couple of big defensive plays,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said.
The Tigers (27-25) got a run back in the bottom of the ninth on a double from Steven Duggar, but Anthony Paesano struck out Reed Rohlman to end the game.
“I am proud of our team. It had been a rough stretch,” Hennon said after the Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak. “We got down early today but our guys kept fighting. I am proud of the effort.”
Paesano faced just the one batter and stranded a runner in scoring position to pick up the save.
Pat Krall was tagged with the loss after allowing both base runners in the seventh. Krall (1-3) worked 1 innings, walked one and struck out three batters.
Jason Richman inherited a pair of base runners in the sixth inning and retired one on a pick off at third base and left the other stranded after he struck out Steven Duggar to end the frame.
Richman (7-1) picked up the win after working a scoreless 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.
Clemson led 2-0 early after scoring two first inning runs on a Chris Okey sacrifice fly and a Weston Wilson single.
Georgia Southern tied the game in the fifth inning after Chase Griffin hit a sacrifice fly, and Cleveland tallied the first of two RBI singles.
The Eagles, 28-23 overall coming into this week’s action, were scheduled to host Kennesaw State on Tuesday. Results were unavailable at press time.
Georgia Southern heads to Atlanta on Thursday to open a three-game series against Georgia State, which will wrap up the regular season. The Sun Belt Conference tournament starts next Wednesday in Troy, Alabama.
As of Tuesday, the Eagles were third in the Sun Belt with a 16-11 record, according to sunbeltsports.org. South Alabama was first with a
19-8 mark (34-18 overall), with Troy second at
Louisiana-Lafayette was fourth at 15-11 (31-19), and Georgia State was fifth at 14-11.