Georgia Southern wins
2002 Baseball Championship
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Tournament MVP Brett Lewis surrendered just five hits in eight innings and Carlos Love collected four RBI on the day as Georgia Southern defeated College of Charleston 8-0 in the championship game of the 2002 Wendy's/Pepsi Southern Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon at Joseph P. Riley Park.

Lewis, who allowed six hits and two earned runs in a complete game victory over The Citadel on Thursday, walked one and struck two. The win, which improved his record to 10-6 on the season, tied him with major leaguer Joey Hamilton for the Georgia Southern school record in career victories. Lewis improved to 4-0 with a save and a 1.76 earned run average in six Southern Conference Tournament appearances.

Georgia Southern (38-23) struck first as it took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Brendan Gilligan ledoff the inning with a double down the left field line and moved to third on Matt Hammond's single through the right-side of the infield. Love drove in Gilligan with an infield hit for his first RBI of the day.

The Eagles upped their lead to 2-0 in the top of the third as they took advantage of a Jack Arroyo error. Chad Hall opened the frame with an infield single and moved to second on a Chris Walker sacrifice bunt. After a fly out and a Matt Herring walk, Arroyo had a Gilligan ground ball bounce off his glove and into centerfield, allowing Hall to score.

GSU again added to its lead in the fifth as it pushed its lead to 6-0. Walker led off with a single before Cougar starter Ryan Johnson (11-3) retired the next two batters on fly balls. Gilligan followed with a walk and scored along with Walker on Matt Hammond's double to right. Love drove in a run as he hit a 1-1 pitch from Johnson to straight-away centerfield for his sixth home run of the season.

Love collected his fourth RBI in the top of the seventh inning. Spearman singled to open the inning and moved to second on a Herring ground out. Gilligan reached and moved Spearman to third as Lee Curtis misplayed a ground ball before Love singled to left to drive in Spearman for a 7-0 Eagle lead.

Georgia Southern closed out the scoring in the eighth as it again plated a single run. J.R. Revere opened the inning with a single to center before moving to second on Hall's sacrifice bunt. Spearman drove in Revere with a double to left.
Love finished the day four-for-five at the plate while Hall, Revere, Hammond and Spearman all collected two hits each for the Eagles.

Charleston, which finishes its season at 36-22, was led at the plate by Mickey Torello, who collected two hits in four plate appearances.

Georgia Southern earns the NCAA Automatic Bid and will travel to a site to be announced on Monday, May 27.

2002 Wendy's/Pepsi Southern Conference Tournament Game 15 Quotes

No. 3 College of Charleston vs. No. 4 Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern head coach Rodney Hennon:
"We really had faith that we could win it coming out of the loser's bracket. That is the first step, believing you can do it. Fortunately, we made it happen. I just can't say enough about Brett (Lewis). Not just about this weekend but his whole career. He has time and again gotten the job done for us. He's a warrior. Of course it wasn't just him. Every day we have had a different guy step up. Carlos (Love) offensively today. Brian Harrison, who had pitched in seven weeks, getting the win yesterday. This team has so much faith in themselves and in each other."

College of Charleston head coach John Pawlowski:
"Ultimately, when I look back at what we accomplished this year, I'll be pleased. Today I am disappointed. We got behind early and that put a little pressure on us."

2002 SoCon All-Tournament Baseball Team

P-Brett Lewis, Georgia Southern
C-Matt Lauderdale, College of Charleston
1B-Carlos Love, Georgia Southern
2B-Jack Arroyo, College of Charleston
3B-Lee Curtis, College of Charleston
SS-Jemel Spearman, Georgia Southern
OF-Craig Caudill, Furman
OF-J.R. Revere, Georgia Southern
OF-Kirk Strebin, UNC Greensboro
OF-Brett Anderson, College of Charleston
OF-Matt Herring, Georgia Southern
DH-Coogie Freedman, Furman

Most Outstanding Player: Brett Lewis, Georgia Southern

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