Eagles dismiss ETSU

from staff reports

   CHARLESTON, SC -- Third baseman Logan Phillips went three-for-four with three RBI to lead second-seeded Georgia Southern to an 12-4 victory over No. 6 seed East Tennessee State in game six of the 2004 Southern Conference Baseball Tournament.
   Freshman pitcher Josh Lairsey allowed just two earned runs while throwing all nine innings for the Eagles, improving to 4-1.
   Brandon Long was four-of-five from the plate with two runs scored while leftfielder Jason Hurst collected three hits, three runs scored, and two RBI.
   "Georgia Southern was a very tough draw for us in the loser's bracket," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. "But if you look at the games teams have won in the tournament, they have gotten great starting pitching and timely hitting.
   "It is very frustrating because we have not been able to do that. You have to make the key plays in this setting, and it just wasn't meant to be for the Bucs."
   Georgia Southern (34-24) moves on to face the loser of the Elon/Western Carolina game today at 10 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 center field.
   ETSU's Greg Roberts 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.
   "Our program made leaps and bounds this year," Skole said. "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."