Baseball Closes Regular Season at Furman
GEORGIA SOUTHERN EAGLES (31-21, 15-9 SoCON)
at FURMAN PALADINS (29-21, 15-9 SoCON)
Thursday, May 15 7 p.m. Greenville, S.C. (Furman Stadium)
Friday, May 16 7 p.m. Greenville, S.C. (Furman Stadium)
Saturday, May 17 4 p.m. Greenville, S.C. (Furman Stadium)
All-Time Series: GS leads 41-28
Last Year: GS lost series 3-0
Thursday - Kyle Kamppi (Jr, RHP) 5-3, 5.43 vs. Jay Jackson (Jr, RHP) 9-2, 2.90
Friday - Drew Murray (Jr, RHP) 8-1, 6.78 vs. Mason Smith (Sr, RHP) 5-4, 4.34
Saturday - Andy Moye (R-Fr, RHP) 3-4, 6.47 vs. Kevin Gaid (So, RHP) 2-1, 4.58
SHEHAN FINALIST FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) was named one of 50 finalists for the 2008 Dick Howser Award Watch List. The National Player of the Year Award is sponsored by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). The NCBWA membership will conduct three rounds of voting to choose the national award winner... Shehan was also named to the Brooks Wallace Award watch list, announced by the College Baseball Foundation...This week Shehan was ranked among the Top 100’ nationally in eight different categories - including a nation’s best 165 total bases. Shehan also ranks second in batting average, runs per game, slugging percentage and on-base percentage... Shehan’s current .445 season batting average would rank third in program history... The junior outfielder also paces the offense in: runs scored (77), on-base percentage (.564), slugging percentage (.835), RBI (69) and walks (47) while standing second in home runs (19) and stolen bases (20-21)... Twice this year Shehan has hit two home runs in a game - the series opener against USC Upstate then three games later in the same week versus Columbia (part of the NCAA record 14 hit). He is a national Player of the Week’ award winner, twice been named SoCon Player of the Week and was the SoCon’s March Player of the Month”.
SEEING 20/20: Amid Chris Shehan’s impressive offensive season, he is on the verge of joining a small company of Eagles... in fact just one other. With one more home run, Shehan will have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Only one other time in program history has that been accomplished. Rob Fitzpatrick hit 21 homers with 25 stolen bases helping Georgia Southern advanced to the 1990 College World Series... There has been only one player in NCAA history to reach the 30/30 plateau (J.D. Drew of Florida State in 1995, 31/32)
WRIGHT WAY TO LEADOFF: Junior Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens) has continued to flourish this year from the leadoff spot... Of his 16 home runs, seven have started an inning and six led off a game. Those six leadoff home runs are a GS record... Wright has hit a leadoff home run in at least one game of five Southern Conference series... He enters this week nationally-ranked in eight categories, including third in slugging and fourth in runs per game... He owns a .404 batting average with 60 runs scored (2nd on team), team-leading 21 doubles, .824 slugging percentage (2nd) and 48 RBI... Wright has 26 walks and nine hit by pitches to only 24 Ks, posting a .500 on-base percentage... He is a national Player of the Week’ award winner and was the SoCon’s April Player of the Month’... Over the past 17 games Wright is batting a team-leading .440 with 13 doubles, seven homers, 25 runs scored and 30 RBI. In that span he owns a .920 slugging percentage.
- - Leadoff Home Runs - -
Western Carolina game 3 (W 15-12); at Charleston game 2 (L 4-5); at Elon game 3 (L 8-12); Appalachian St. game 1 (W 13-6); Davidson game 1 (W 10-4); Davidson game 2 (W 20-2)
WRIGHT GOES FOR THE CYCLE: Junior Ty Wright became the second Eagle (David Richardson) in a month span to hit for the cycle in consecutive innings. During game three at Wofford, Wright started off with a leadoff single. He hit a 2-run home run in the second then followed with a RBI triple in the third. During the fourth inning Wright lined a 2-run double.
BENEDICT BEHIND THE PLATE: Junior Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) continues to impress both offensively and defensively. Benedict brings a .356 batting average into this weekend with 16 doubles, team-leading two triples and 11 home runs. He joined the elite 50 runs scored/50 RBI club in program history (52/62)... Benedict also ranks 96th nationally in toughest to strikeout (once in every 12.5 at-bats)... Behind the plate Benedict has posted a .981 fielding percentage and holds the team lead with five pickoffs... Twice this year Benedict has hit two home runs in a game, the Boston College finale and in game two against Columbia, part of the NCAA record 14 hit that game... He knocked his first career grand slam in the Wofford series... Over the past 17 games he’s hitting at a .375 clip with 19 runs, 15 RBI and just four strikeouts in 56 at-bats. Benedict posted a .500 on-base percentage.
WIRNSBERGER OWNS THE HOT CORNER: Sophomore third baseman A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bear Bryant) enters this weekend hitting .329 with 58 runs scored (3rd on team), 69 RBI (T-1st) and 21 home runs (1st)... He just missed on another double-digit hitting streak this year, going hitless against Mercer and ending a nine-game streak... Wirnsberger is in the process of leading the team in hit by a pitch (11) for the second straight year... He turned in his second career 2-HR game, accomplishing the feat against Kennesaw State. His third multi-HR game came during game two at Davidson, part of his 4-hit, 6-RBI game. Numbers four and five came in consecutive games against UNC Greensboro to start that series, including a grand slam in game two... Wirnsberger stands 6-for-6 in stolen bases... Over the past 17 games Wirnsberger is hitting .411 with 11 homers, 33 RBI and 23 runs scored while defensively committing two errors.
WIRNSBERGER IN GRAND FASHION: A.J. Wirnsberger tied a Southern Conference season record hitting his third grand slam, doing so in game two against UNC Greensboro. That slam came one inning after he hit a solo homer that followed Jeremiah Parker’s grand slam... Wirnsberger hit his first career grand slam during the Towson series then hit another against Western Carolina. His third of the year also ties for second place on the SoCon career grand slam leaders.
50-50 CLUB MEMBERS: Georgia Southern matched another program record as four players have joined the elite 50/50 club (50 runs scored and 50 RBI) in the same year... Ty Wright is two RBI away from joining the group. The 1983 team also had four members.
- Chris Shehan is a two-time member of the group, one of 12 players in program history to accomplish the feat in multiple years... In fact he is a member of the 70/60 club which has been done only five other times, currently with 77 runs/69 RBI. The last came in the 2000 season when Matt Easterday (78/77) went on to be named Southern Conference Player of the Year’.
- Griffin Benedict has scored 52 runs while driving in 62 runs.
- Sophomore A.J. Wirnsberger is also a member thanks to his 58 runs scored and 69 RBI.
- Last weekend senior Jeremiah Parker (51/61) joined the prestigious group.
SCOUTING THE PALADINS: Furman enters the game having lost six straight overall, most recently a 4-2 decision to Tennessee at Fluor Field. Ryan Lee had two of the Paladins’ seven hits. Ryan Lang threw 3.1 scoreless innings... Furman had won a school record 13 straight SoCon games before getting swept at Appalachian State last weekend... Georgia Southern and Furman are currently tied in the standings... Junior Jay Jackson is making a case for SoCon Pitcher of the Year’ going 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 83.2 innings. He has an opponent batting average of .214, allowing 64 hits to 79 strikeouts recorded... Reese Wade leads the hitting attack at a .402 clip with eight doubles... Jackson has eight homers and 29 RBI to go with his .319 batting average... Joey Rodgers is hitting at a .318 clip with 21 stolen bases... Nick Karow (4-0, 3.50) leads the pitching staff with eight saves.
IMPORTANT FINAL WEEKEND: The majority of seeds will be determined this weekend with the final SoCon series taking place for most teams... Davidson (#10), Wofford (#9) and The Citadel (#8) are guaranteed to be playing an opening round game in the 2008 Bennett Hofford Family of Hotels SoCon Tournament on Tuesday... Elon has finished at 19-8 and guaranteed at least a share of the regular season title... Only three games separate Charleston in second and Western Carolina/Appalachian State tied for sixth... If Georgia Southern sweeps Furman it will guarantee at least a third place finish, and possibly second depending on the outcome of Charleston at Western... If the Eagles win two, it will finish no worse than the third seed, and again could do better depending on the CofC/WCU series... GS needs to win at least one or have Western and/or Appy lose once to guarantee staying out of the play-in game... The SoCon Tournament will take place again at Riley Park.
SUN SHINES ON GEORGIA SOUTHERN: This year Georgia Southern has dominated the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Eagles are 8-3 this year, dropping the final regular season non-conference game at Jacksonville 9-4... GS has outscored the A-Sun teams 114-62... GS wound up 2-1 versus the Dolphins. The Eagles went 2-0 against USC Upstate and North Florida, 1-1 against Mercer and Kennesaw State.
HOME RUN RECORD NIGHT: Georgia Southern hit three consecutive home runs against Jacksonville, the last two tying then breaking the single-season record. At 106 home runs and counting, the current Eagles have easily surpassed the 1990 College World Series team in the record book... Ty Wright, Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) and Chris Shehan hit consecutive home runs during the third inning. Porter’s shot tied the record then Shehan broke it... A.J. Wirnsberger (four times), Chris Shehan (twice), Griffin Benedict (twice), Jeremiah Parker (Carrollton/Carrollton) (twice) and Kyle Blackburn (Marietta/Walton) have all hit two homers in a game this year... The last Eagle to lead the nation in home runs was Tommy Peterman hitting 26 in 1996.
MORE HOME RUN NOTES: Georgia Southern has hit 54 solo home runs this year. There is a six-way tie for 51st place among the NCAA Division I leaders for teams hitting 54 total home runs... There have been 11 games GS went without hitting a homer. The current two-game drought matches a season-high... On 20 occasions the Eagles hit three or more homers.
WIRNSBERGER IN ELITE HOMER COMPANY: Sophomore A.J. Wirnsberger became the first Eagle in 12 years to crack the program’s season Top 10’ listing for home runs. He hit his 21st last weekend against UNC Greensboro, now just two shy of the national lead held by Michael Harrington of Charleston... It was also his fourth and fifth career two-HR game, both coming in the first two games of the UNC Greensboro series.
HOME RUNS IN THE NCAA, SoCON: The Eagles are 38 home runs shy of tying for 10th place among the NCAA single-season leaders (144 - Missouri State in 1999 and South Carolina in 1985)... GS currently stands third on the SoCon season leaderboard, two away from Wofford’s total last year and 10 shy of the 1988 Western Carolina team.
SoCON SEASON LEADERBOARD: Not only is Georgia Southern ranked among the Southern Conference home run leaders, the Eagles also cracked the Top 10’ in runs scored, RBI, grand slams, total bases, doubles and sacrifice flies...
- With 543 runs scored, the Eagles are in fourth-place, 17 shy of the 97 Western Carolina squad...
- The 493 RBI ranks third-best, 20 shy of the 2007 Charleston club...
- The six grand slams set a season record...
- The 1,155 total bases ranks fifth, 82 away from Charleston’s record set last year...
- The 149 doubles are currently tied for fifth, six away from the 2000 Eagles’ squad for third place and 25 shy of the 2005 Charleston squad for the record...
- The 36 sacrifice flies are four shy of Elon’s 2006 record and currently tie for third.
SEEING DOUBLE: Georgia Southern enters the week leading the nation in both doubles (147) and doubles per game (2.88)... Ty Wright is the only Eagle ranked among the nation’s Top 100’ in doubles per game at 12th. He hit his 21st double of the year at Jacksonville, tying for ninth place among the GS season Top 10’... However, Wright and seven other Eagles have recorded double-figures. Chris Shehan and Jeremiah Parker have 17 apiece with Griffin Benedict right behind at 16. A.J. Wirnsberger hit his 15th at Jacksonville. Phillip Porter (13), Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) (12) and David Richardson (Dahlonega/Lumpkin County) (10) also reached double-digits. The only starter not in double-figures is Jeremy Beckham (Griffin/Griffin), who missed seven games with an injury and has hit six two-baggers this year.
NATIONAL LEADERS: Georgia Southern continues to dominate the national offensive statistics. The Eagles rank first nationally in: scoring, runs, hits, doubles per game, doubles, home runs per game, home runs and slugging percentage. GS stands second in the nation in team batting average, just nine points behind Florida State.
.300 IN THE LINEUP: Georgia Southern is proving there is no easy out in its line-up... The current .348 team batting average would be the second-highest average on record... Eight starters are hitting .319 or better, including: Chris Shehan at .445 and Ty Wright at .406. David Richardson (.376), Phillip Porter (.368) and Griffin Benedict (.356) are followed by Jeremy Beckham (.333), A.J. Wirnsberger (.329) and Jeremiah Parker (.319)... Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) was batting .357 before suffering his season-ending injury... Will Southwell (Moultrie/Colquitt County) and Jonathan King (Athens, TN/McMinn County) are hitting .318 and .308, respectively, off the bench.
EAGLE SLUGGERS: A great deal of individual success has led to the Eagles’ team success at the plate this year... That has translated into some impressive national rankings... As a team GS ranks among the Top 15’ in eight categories... Five Eagles are ranked among the Top 100’ in RBI per game... Four stand among the leaders in runs scored per game... Three are listed in home runs, slugging percentage and total bases.
MORE SCORING NOTES: GS is 30-0 when leading after seven innings... The Eagles won their first game (6-4 win at Kennesaw State) when scoring 6-9 runs, now 2-10 on the year following a 6-5 win over The Citadel in game three... The Eagles are 23-3 when hitting two or more home runs... When scoring 10 or more runs GS is 27-1... Out of 10 frames, GS is only getting outscored in two innings (seventh and ninth inning)... When the Eagles out-hit the opposition they are 23-5... Anytime GS scores in the first inning they are 17-6... The Eagles have dominated the 2nd-5th innings, holding a +138 run differential in that span.
SoCON STATS: Georgia Southern owns a team .345 batting average in Southern Conference play... Chris Shehan leads the way at .438 with Ty Wright (.408) and Jeremy Beckham (.400) at or above the .400 mark... Wright has hit 13 doubles, 11 home runs, scored 40 and driven in 30 in 24 games... A.J. Wirnsberger leads the team hitting 14 home runs, in addition to his 27 runs scored and 38 RBI... Jeremiah Parker is hitting at a .388 clip, well above his season average. Parker has recorded a team-leading 42 RBI in league play with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 31 runs scored... In fact, eight of the starters are averaging more than 1.0 runs scored per game and six starters are above 1.0 RBI... The Eagles have scored 10-plus runs in at least one game of every SoCon series, doing so 14 times in 24 league games... Drew Murray (LaGrange/LaGrange) is 7-1 in eight starts with 40 strikeouts in 43.2 innings... Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine Military) improved to 3-2 with a starters-best 5.98 ERA in 40.2 innings, striking out 37.
IRON MAN: Brian Pierce extended his consecutive games started streak to 163 games. The junior sat out the first seven games of his freshman year, came into the next game as a defensive replacement, started the next and has not been out of the starting line-up since... He recorded his second career home run, a 3-run shot on his 21st birthday, during game two against Columbia... The junior shortstop has hit 12 doubles and owns a career .946 fielding percentage.
BECKHAM IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Senior second baseman Jeremy Beckham again holds the team lead in stolen bases, swiping 23-of-26 this year. He improved his career numbers to 58-of-65 steals. Beckham passed Mike Yuro and Carl Gardner for ninth place on the GS career Top 10’ list. Up next is Rocky Baker with 61 steals... Beckham jumped his season batting average up to .333 with 39 runs... He is batting .400 in Southern Conference play.
PORTER ENJOYING CAREER YEAR: Phillip Porter continues his personal-best season at the plate. The junior outfielder ranks fourth on the team batting .368, thanks to 13 multi-hit games in the last 22 contests... Earlier this year he recorded a 15-game hitting streak. Porter began the streak with a personal-best five hits, including a walk-off single against Towson... During his first two years he recorded 26 hits and has nearly tripled that total this season with 74... Porter also ranks among the team leaders with: 56 runs scored, 13 doubles, 41 RBI and 18 stolen bases... Over the past 17 games Porter has three home runs, 25 runs scored, 15 RBI and stolen 10-of-11 bases.
PARK IT: Senior Jeremiah Parker continues to stay hot at the plate... He got off to a cold start finishing the month of February hitting at a .217 clip with three RBI... During the month of March Parker hit nearly 80 points better... Last year’s home run leader, Parker now has 11 homers including a 2-HR game in the Western Carolina finale in which he recorded nine RBI in the series... He also turned in a 2-HR game during game two of the UNC Greensboro series, plating seven runs that game and nine RBI in the series... Overall Parker stands at .319 with 17 doubles, 51 runs scored and 61 RBI... His 2-HR game against UNCG accounted for number 31 and 32 of his career, including his first-ever grand slam... In the last 17 games Parker is batting .406 with 11 doubles, five HR, 23 runs scored and 30 RBI.
RICHARDSON GOES FOR THE CYCLE: Senior outfielder David Richardson accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball. In the opener at the College of Charleston, he hit for the cycle and did so in consecutive innings. Richardson singled to leadoff the fourth. He hit a 2-run homer in the fifth as the team sent 11 batters to the plate. Richardson lined a leadoff double in the sixth then hit a one-out triple in the seventh.
MAKING THE MOST OF SENIOR YEAR: David Richardson has made the most of his time in the starting line-up this his senior year... He made two pinch-hitting performances against Columbia and both times he hit a home run. Richardson had only four home runs during his previous three years... Earning his first start of the year (at Mercer), Richardson responded with another home run, part of his three hits and career-high five RBI effort. He hasn’t left the starting line-up since... Richardson batted 5-for-11 in the Western Carolina series, but had his streak of a HR in five consecutive games come to an end... He set a career-high getting five hits against North Florida and reached base safely in all six plate appearances... The senior CF just saw his personal- and team season-high 17-game hitting streak end at Jacksonville... Richardson enters the weekend batting .376 with 40 runs scored and 42 RBI... He has posted a .638 slugging percentage and stolen 10-of-14 bases (14-of-21 in his career)... Earlier this month Richardson was one of 14 Division I baseball players named Strength and Conditioning All-America... During the last 17 games Richardson is hitting .431 with 21 runs and 19 RBI.
STRIKEOUT LEADER: Drew Murray improved to 8-1 after earning the win versus UNC Greensboro, his fifth straight win... After three consecutive no-decisions to start the season Murray finally earned his first victory of the year defeating Columbia, followed by wins against Western Carolina, Charleston, Appalachian State, Davidson, Wofford and The Citadel... Arguably his best performance of the year came against Pittsburgh. Murray gave up two runs and fanned seven Panthers in 7.0 innings pitched but came away with a no-decision... His eight Ks at Wofford were one shy of his personal-high... Overall he leads the staff logging 66.1 innings and 60 strikeouts... Murray is 7-1 in Southern Conference play... Murray has won his last four of his starts, posting a 5.25 ERA. In 24 innings he has struck out 21 while posting a .250 opponent batting average.
KAMPPING OUT: Kyle Kamppi continues to excel as a starter. The junior right-hander fanned 51 in 56.1 innings, posting a 5.43 ERA, tops among the starters... Kamppi lost a 10-inning decision earlier this year at Georgia Tech but bounced back the next game earning the win against Towson... In his first GS start, Kamppi went four strong innings to defeat Mercer... A hard-luck loser against Charleston, Kamppi pitched well against Elon and Appalachian State, turning in career-highs of seven strikeouts in six innings pitched versus Appy... He picked up the win against Davidson, striking out six to no walks issued (second straight start doing so) in five innings of work... Kamppi matched his then career-high of six innings pitched at Wofford... Against UNC Greensboro, making his first Friday start, he pitched a team season-high eight innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out six.
BANK ON IT: Aaron Eubanks (Moultrie/Colquitt County) has been used in a variety of roles this year, from starter to long relief, and been successful... The senior left-hander is second on the team at 5-1, making seven starts in 15 appearances. He ranks fourth on the team logging 46 innings... Eubanks is 2-0 in Southern Conference play... Overall Eubanks owns a 10-8 record and 5.95 ERA in 133 innings.
WELCOME BACK TO THE MOUND: Redshirt-freshman Andy Moye (Alpharetta/Alpharetta) has returned from last year’s Tommy John surgery, posting a 3-4 record and 6.47 ERA... Moye gave up two hits (one being a 2-run HR), walked one and struck out four in five innings of work against Boston College. He faced just three batters over the minimum... He gave up three runs (one earned) in five innings against Towson. He scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four... Moye matched his then season-longest outing throwing 5.1 innings at Charleston, leaving the game with a one-run lead but getting a no-decision... Moye allowed one earned run off three hits in 5.2 innings against Appalachian State, striking out three... Moye recorded season-highs of six strikeouts in six innings but received a no-decision at Davidson... Once again Moye improved on his season-high totals, striking out eight in 6.2 innings versus The Citadel. He left with a three run lead but factored in a no-decision... Moye finally earned his first win since the Towson game, defeating UNC Greensboro. He allowed three runs on five hits in five innings, striking out seven.
ONE NATION: Blake Nation (Brooks/Starr’s Mill) pitched only 18 innings during his first two years as an Eagle with 11 Ks. The junior right-hander has easily surpassed those previous career numbers, 37.1 IP and 36 strikeouts... Nation owns a 3-3 record with six saves (two against Western Carolina, Towson, North Florida, Jacksonville and UNC Greensboro) and a 4.34 ERA... He stands tied for second on the team with 22 relief appearances... Nation helped defeat The Citadel in game one, throwing two scoreless innings. He worked 2.1 innings in game three and picked up the victory... Nation also picked up wins against Kennesaw State and USC Upstate.
STROHECKER RETURNS: Sophomore Charlie Strohecker (Alpharetta/Milton) returned from an injury that sidelined him most of 2007... He picked up his second win of the year, in as many decisions, during the Western Carolina finale... Overall Strohecker stands 2-1 with a 6.03 ERA in 37.1 innings. He has struck out 22 batters... Strohecker is tied for second on the team making 22 appearances... Before his injury last year Strohecker earned the win in three of the team’s first five victories.
FRESHMAN IMPACT: True-freshman Tony Chisman (Conyers/Salem) continues to be a reliable set-up arm out of the bullpen. He holds the team lead with 24 appearances, posting a 5.53 ERA... In 27.2 innings Chisman has given up 32 hits and struck out 32 to 16 walks allowed... He earned his first collegiate save working three innings in game two of the Wofford series... He followed that up with 1.2 scoreless innings against Jacksonville... Chisman was charged for two unearned runs in 1.1 innings during game three of the UNC Greensboro series.
Published on Wednesday, 14 May 2008 00:25