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STATESBORO, Ga.- Scott Henley and Jemel Spearman collected three hits apiece to lead Georgia Southern to a 10-6 Southern Conference victory over East Tennessee State Saturday night in collegiate baseball action at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Buccaneers (15-25, 7-13) opened the scoring in the top of the first innings as Ryan Hyder walked and advanced to third on a double by Andy Baxter. Nathan Copeland followed with a ground-out to Eagle second baseman Brandon Burnsed to plate Hyder. Chad Boruff followed with an RBI single to score Baxter and give ETSU a 2-0 advantage.
Georgia Southern (27-15, 15-8) quickly evened things up in the bottom of the inning as Brendan Gilligan collected a one-out double to right centerfield. Jemel Spearman was then hit by a pitch before Scott Henley drew a walk to load the bases. Matt Herring promptly followed with a single to center field to score both Gilligan and Spearman.
Both teams added single runs in the second before Georgia Southern eventually took the lead with three runs in the fourth. In that inning, Chris Walker drew a two-out walk and stole second before Burnsed also walked. Gilligan was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch by Bucs� starter Donnie Sharper (4-2) allowed Walker to score while a walk to Spearman again loaded the bases. Reliever Jarrod Hyder was then greeted by a Henley single to score both Burnsed and Gilligan.
East Tennessee State cut the deficit to 6-4 with a lone run in the fifth inning but Georgia Southern added three runs in the third to seal the victory. In the inning Walker doubled, moved to third on a fielder�s choice and then stole home for the first Eagle run. Spearman and Henley also collected RBI singles in the inning as GSU increased its advantage to 9-4.
A throwing error by Bucs� catcher Jason Nidiffer allowed the Eagles to stretch their advantage to 10-4 in the eighth before ETSU plated two runs in the ninth. With two-outs in the final inning Baxter doubled to left field and Copeland followed with his 11th home run of the season, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
GSU starter Dennis Dove pitched a career-high seven innings, allowing four hits and just two earned runs, to improve his record to 5-3. Dove also struck out a personal-best 10 batters in the game.
The two teams will conclude the three game series Sunday afternoon at 1:30 in J.I. Clements Stadium.