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Eagles run out of magic at regional
Josh Wirsu, the Southern Conference pitcher of the year, delivers against Alabama. - photo by Photo by Josh Aubrey

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Georgia Southern’s run through the postseason finally ran out of steam.

Freshman Alabama pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett, in just his fifth career start, tossed a complete game shutout as the second-seeded Crimson Tide eliminated No. 4 Georgia Southern with a 6-0 win on Sunday in the NCAA regionals at Dick Howser Stadium.

“To think a freshman’s going to go out and give you one of those, well that just doesn’t happen very often,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Where anyone’s pitching is after three games, you’ve got to have that.”

Alabama chased GSU starter Will Jackson in the third inning after a pair of walks and an RBI single by Georgie Salem.

Salem and Mikey White scored on an RBI double by Ben Moore.

Moore doubled again in the fifth to drive in White for the second time on the day.

The Eagles didn’t get anything going until the seventh, when Ben Morgan and Stryker Brown walked and Morgan took third on a wild pitch by Bramblett.

A strikeout and a hard lineout ended the threat.

Bramblett was outstanding for the Tide. The freshman struck out seven and walked only two. Only Garren Palmer and freshman Garrett Chapman recorded hits for the Eagles.

No. 3 Kennesaw State beat Alabama 4-2 Monday afternoon to claim the regional. Alabama beat KSU on Sunday night to force Monday’s decisive game. The Owls, in their first NCAA tournament, will meet Louisville in a best-of-three series, with the winner advancing to the College World Series.

The Eagles won at least 40 games for the seventh time in program history, dating back to 1933. It was the third for Rodney Hennon.

Seniors Brown, Morgan, Palmer and Matt McCall played in their last game as an Eagle.

“I’ve coached some good teams over the years, some tough teams, but I don’t think I’ve coached a tougher team than this one over the years,” Hennon said. “These seniors get it. They know what it means to sacrifice and put the team first.”

The Eagles fell to 18-30 all time in NCAA regional games.

Georgia Southern used six pitchers, including sophomore Jason Richman, who pitched in his school-record 47th game.

The Eagles will join the Sun Belt Conference next season.