Eagle Baseball Receives Votes in Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll
TUSCON, Ariz. Collegiate Baseball newspaper released its 2009 preseason Top 40’ poll and Georgia Southern University was mentioned in receiving votes. Senior catcher Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) and junior third baseman A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) were both named to the Louisville Slugger Third Team Preseason All-America.
The Eagles return 18 letterwinners from last year’s 33-25 squad.
The Eagles will also face several opponents this year also listed in the poll, including: No. 12 Georgia Tech (four games) and No. 31 East Carolina (Holiday Inn Eagle Invitational).
Benedict, who earlier this month was also named Third Team Preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earned Second Team All-SoCon honors last year and is regarded as one of the best all-around catchers in the country. The senior was also one of 19 in Georgia Southern history to record 60 runs scored/60 RBI in a season (60/65) and ranked 61st nationally in RBI per game (1.14). He batted .355 with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and walked more times (27) than he struck out (20) in 217 at-bats, all while posting a .978 fielding percentage.
He led the Eagles and finished fifth in the SoCon picking off six runners. In fact, Benedict had more pickoffs by himself than three SoCon teams had total. Benedict accounted for two of the Eagles’ NCAA record 14 home runs hit during game two of the Columbia series last year, a 26-8 victory. He also recorded two home runs against Boston College and hit his first career grand slam during the Wofford series.
Wirnsberger was one of 19 Eagles all-time to record 60 runs scored/RBI in a season finishing with 63 runs and 74 RBI. Last year he set a Georgia Southern and Southern Conference record hitting three grand slams in a season and is currently tied for second in the SoCon for career grand slams. He finished with a .325 batting average, 15 doubles, three triples, 6-of-7 in stolen bases, 12 hit by pitches and a .925 fielding percentage at third base.
Like Benedict, Wirnsberger also helped the Eagles set a NCAA record accounting for one of the 14 home runs hit during game two of the Columbia series. One of three Eagles to start all 58 games last year, Wirnsberger ranked 90th nationally in runs scored, 13th in home runs (21), 22nd in RBI per game and 71st in slugging percentage (.668) while finishing in a tie for 10th among the GS season home run leaders.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Tuesday, 23 December 2008 00:13