Baseball Looks for Better Outing Against The Citadel in 2011
STATESBORO, Ga. - After a disappointing series in 2010, the Georgia Southern Baseball team (15-11, 6-3) looks for a better outing against The Citadel (10-15, 5-7) in 2011. The Eagles play host to the Bulldogs in a three-game series at J.I. Clements Stadium beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. with a pre-game ceremony to honor Head Coach Rodney Hennon for his 500th career victory. Head Football Coach Jeff Monken will throw out the first pitch before Saturday's 2:30 p.m. contest. The annual Clements Crazies Tailgate will take place before the game, and it will also be a GSU Spring Family Weekend. The series wraps up on Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch.
The Citadel swept Georgia Southern on the road last year to wrap up its regular season title. The Bulldogs got great effort from their starting pitchers a year ago and played nearly errorless ball to pick up the three wins. Citadel knocked out 10 or more hits in every game and jumped out to early leads in all three games. Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) drove in three runs with a home run in the eighth inning off of Asher Wojciechowski in game one of the series, but the Bulldogs prevailed 9-4.
The all-time series between the two teams has been a tight one with Georgia Southern holding onto a narrow 35-34 advantage. The Citadel has won five out of the last six games with the Eagles' lone win coming in a 3-1 on April 25th, 2009. Jake Brown defeated Wojciechowski in a tight pitchers' duel after Georgia Southern came back from an early 1-0 deficit with three unanswered runs.
GSU, who came into the week receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Top-25 Poll and the National College Baseball Writers Association Poll, dropped a mid-week game at Jacksonville 4-2 on Tuesday. The Eagles left the bases loaded in the ninth inning but fell behind early after a three-run fourth inning put the Dolphins on top.
The Citadel dropped two of three to Wofford last weekend, but won the series finale 13-5 in a Sunday doubleheader in Spartanburg, S.C. The Bulldogs rebounded with a couple of solid efforts in two mid-week games. They defeated Charleston Southern 12-5 on Tuesday and led 4-0 after the fourth inning in Columbia, S.C., against #3 South Carolina but were unable to hold on for the upset.
The Citadel is hitting .272 as a club, with eight home runs and 50 doubles on the year. Joe Jackson leads them at the plate with a .329 batting average and a .417 on-base percentage. Nick Orvin leads the team in the RBI department with 19, while Nick Orvin is the team's leader in long balls with three. The Bulldog pitching staff is third in the Southern conference with a 4.00 ERA and has struck out the second most batters in the SoCon. T.J. Clarkson has been stellar out of the bullpen, allowing just eight earned runs in 32.2 innings of work. The Citadel closer, Drew Mahaffey, has five saves on the year but is 0-4 with a 3.00 ERA this season.
Georgia Southern is currently in a three-team tie for second place in the SoCon. The Eagles are tied with Samford and UNC Greensboro at 6-3 for second place, while Furman, who GSU swept to open the conference slate, is right behind in fifth place with a 6-5 mark.
Georgia Southern has posted a SoCon best .303 batting average as a squad and is second in the conference in on-base percentage (.387) and slugging percentage (.422). The Eagles also lead the league in runs, hits and RBIs this season. The GSU pitching staff is in second place in the league with a 3.79 ERA and is one of three teams with an ERA of 4.00 or less.
Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) continues to pace the Southern Conference with a 0.65 ERA and a .135 opposing batting average, while Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) leads the league in hitting with a .433 batting average. Phillips is third in the league in slugging percentage and second in on-base percentage.
To order baseball tickets for upcoming games call the Georgia Southern Athletic Ticket Office at 800-GSU-WINS. Single games tickets are available at the gate for $8 for adults and $4 for youth (3-12).
Georgia Southern Baseball games can be heard live on Eagle 102.9 FM and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision with broadcasts beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will call all the action.
Fans may follow Georgia Southern Baseball by visiting GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/baseball or check in at twitter.com/GSAthletics or facebook.com/GSAthletics for short updates.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Thursday, 31 March 2011 18:46