STATESBORO, Ga. – Hunter Thomas delivered a two out walk-off single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to hand the Georgia Southern Eagles their first Sun Belt Conference win 5-4 over the Appalachian State Mountaineers at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Georgia Southern (9-5, 1-0) led early but an eighth-inning rally put Appalachian State (5-7, 0-1) ahead 4-3.
Aaron Mizell led off the ninth inning with a single through the right side of the infield, and an error by the shortstop Dillon Dobson and a bunt single by Kody Adams loaded the bases with no outs.
Ryan Ross came on in relief of Taylor Thurber and recorded two quick outs before allowing the game-winning single to Thomas. The senior pinched hit in the eighth inning and beat Ross to the bag on a ball hit to the right side of the defense.
“I am really proud of Hunter Thomas. He is a team guy. He wasn’t in the lineup tonight but has a great attitude every day. He steps up there in the biggest at-bat in the game and hustled down the line,” Head Coach Rodney Hennon said.
Thurber (2-1) took the loss after allowing four hits and two unearned runs over 1.2 innings.
Chris Brown (2-1) worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth inning and struck out a batter to earn his second win of the season.
Evan Challenger allowed one run over five innings and struck out three batters but received his third-straight no decision.
The Eagles led 2-0 after the first inning. Aaron Mizell plated a Spencer Duffie one-out double and later scored on a Charles Sheffield infield single.
The Mountaineers struck for three runs in the eighth inning off of reliever Jason Richman to take a 4-1 lead.
“Jason Richman has picked us up so many times. It was time for our guys to pick Jason up,” Hennon said. “I felt like App State had a good approach against him, and they put some good swings on the ball.”
The series continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. Senior righthander Tripp Sheppard will take the mound for the Eagles, while the Mountaineers will start freshman righthander Travis Holden.
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