Jags Walk Off With Sun Belt Title in 10 Innings
Brendon Donovan's one out single to left field in the tenth inning scored Dylan Hardy with the winning run as South Alabama defeated Georgia Southern 7-6 in ten innings to win the Sun Belt Conference automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
It was the third seeded Jaguars' first tournament title since 2005.
Hardy walked with one out to start the rally against Eagles' pitcher Adam Kelly (1-1). Pinch hitter Paul Russo singled Hardy to third. Donovan then stroked the game winner down the left field line off Jacob Condra-Bogan for the game winner.
Georgia Southern (38-21) took its first lead of the game in the ninth inning on Ryan Cleveland's three run homer, his 16th of the season. But Hardy homered leading off the bottom of the ninth against Eagles' ace Evan Challenger, and Eddie Paparella followed with a no doubter over the video board in left center field to tie the game.
South Alabama (39-19) scored single runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings to take a 3-0 lead but Steven Curry's two run single got Georgia Southern within a run. But freshman Hunter Stokes homered in the bottom of the sixth to increase the lead to 4-2. Georgia Southern got within a run on a double play grounder, setting the stage for the dramatic ninth.
Georgia Southern head coach Rodney Hennon was ejected by home plate umpire Joe Judkowitx in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.
It will be the fourth NCAA tournament appearance in six years under Jaguars' coach Mark Calvi.