Offensive Records Highlight Baseball Season
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern baseball registered another 30-win campaign, which was highlighted by unprecedented offensive production all season long. The Eagles finished 33-25 overall, 16-11 in the Southern Conference, just three games back of the regular season champion.
For the ninth straight year the Eagles won 30 or more games, all under the direction of head coach Rodney Hennon. All season long the Eagles ranked among the national offensive leaders in several categories. Six of the Eagles' opponents this year qualified for the NCAA Regionals, accounting for 15 of the 58 games played.
The Eagles set a NCAA record hitting 14 home runs during a 26-8 win over Columbia. During the season they also tied a program single-game record for most grand slams (2) and total bases (64) in a game, in addition to tying four individual records as well.
As a team GS broke season records in: runs (595), hits (751), home runs (114), total bases (1,269) and RBI (543) while finishing second in doubles with 154, one off the record. The .346 team batting average is the highest mark during the modern era (.353 in 1955).
In 2008 the Eagles scored 20-plus runs five times and recorded 20-plus hits seven times. The Eagles were 28-1 this year when scoring at least 10 runs.
Leading the way was the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year’ (sports media association) Chris Shehan, who finished batting .438 the fourth highest single-season average. The junior outfielder scored a GS record 84 runs and ranked among the season Top 10’ in seven categories in all. Among the SoCon season leaders, Shehan was tied for second in runs scored, eighth in home runs, fourth in total bases and fourth in slugging percentage (.835). He became the fifth Eagle to be named SoCon Player of the Year’, joining Matt Easterday (2000), Tommy Peterman (1996), Steve Wilson (1995) and Todd Greene (1993).
The Eagles have seven players who made starts last year returning on offense and 12 pitchers.
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS LISTED BY HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL):
TUSCALOOSA, AL (Paul Bear Bryant) A.J. Wirnsberger, Infield, Sophomore. Second Team All-Southern Conference... Wirnsberger started in all 58 games... .325 batting average with 63 runs scored and 74 RBI... accounted for one of 19 times in program history an Eagle recorded 60 runs/60 RBI... 15 doubles, team-leading three triples and 21 home runs... tied a SoCon record hitting three grand slams in a season (Western Carolina, UNC Greensboro and Towson)... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... tied for 10th among GS season Top 10’ home run leaders... second on the team with 27 multi-hit games and 21 multi-RBI games... 13-game hitting streak... back-to-back two home run games in the UNC Greensboro series... tallied 12 RBI, nine runs scored and nine hits in five games versus UNCG... also hit two home runs against Kennesaw State and Davidson... seven RBI in the Towson series... matched career-high of four hits at Furman and Davidson... season-high six RBI in game two at Davidson, scoring four runs... eight RBI in the Wofford series... seven hits, five RBI against The Citadel.
ALPHARETTA (Alpharetta) Andy Moye, Pitcher, R-Freshman. Moye returned from injury that kept him out of last year... started in all 14 appearances... 3-5, 6.99 ERA in 64.1 innings... 54 strikeouts to 28 walks... eight strikeouts in season-high 6.2 innings against The Citadel... went more than two months between wins, receiving no-decisions... defeated Boston College and Towson in first two collegiate starts... seven Ks in win over UNC Greensboro in the regular season... pitched at least five innings in 10 of his starts.
ALPHARETTA (Milton) Charlie Strohecker, Pitcher, Sophomore. Strohecker made one start in 23 appearances... 2-1, 6.57 ERA in 38.1 innings... earned win after allowing one unearned run on two hits in three innings against USC Upstate, striking out three... picked up win against Western Carolina, striking out four in two innings... also fanned four in three innings at Bethune-Cookman... three strikeouts at Charleston... 11 times pitched 2.0 or more innings.
BONAIRE (Houston County) Brian Wilkerson, Pitcher, Sophomore. Wilkerson made two relief appearances before undergoing season-ending surgery.
BROOKS (Starr’s Mill) Blake Nation, Pitcher, Junior. Nation made 24 relief appearances, logging 41 innings... 36 strikeouts to 15 walks... finished 3-3, including wins over USC Upstate, Kennesaw State and The Citadel... earned a save against: Towson, Western Carolina (2), North Florida, Jacksonville, UNC Greensboro and Furman... career-highs of six strikeouts in four innings during 11-inning win at Kennesaw State... did not allow a run in his first 10.1 innings pitched... 14 appearances did not allow an earned run.
BYRON (Peach County) Trent Franzago, Pitcher, Freshman. Franzago started against Jacksonville, made 13 appearances in all... pitched 3.0 hitless innings in the start against JU... three Ks in two scoreless innings at Wofford... seven appearances did not allow a run... missed six weeks with an injury after appearing in the season-opening Boston College series.
CANTON (Woodstock) Matt Miller, Outfield, Junior. Miller had started the first 14 games of the season before suffering an injury against USC Upstate... made two pinch-hitting appearances but never returned to the starting lineup... 18 runs scored and 14 RBI... tied program record with five runs scored and three doubles in the Boston College finale... went 8-for-14 with seven runs and six RBI in the BC series... three hits at Bethune-Cookman... scored 10 runs in six-game stretch... hit game-winning, walk-off solo home run in bottom of the 10th to defeat Pittsburgh... six walks in three-game span... two outfield assists... three stolen bases.
CARROLLTON (Carrollton) Jeremiah Parker, Infield, Senior. Parker started in 56 of his 57 appearances... saw time at first base and catcher... .326 batting average with 60 runs scored and 70 RBI... accounted for one of the 19 times an Eagle recorded 60 runs scored/60 RBI... tied a program record twice scoring five runs in a game, both times against UNC Greensboro... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... 18 doubles and 14 home runs... two homers and four RBI in Western Carolina finale... drove in nine runs that series... eight RBI at Davidson... nine RBI on five hits against UNC Greensboro in regular season, including first career grand slam... seven of his 32 extra-base hits came against UNCG... three times hit two HR in a game... tied a SoCon Tournament record with two home runs, 11 total bases and five runs scored against UNCG... recorded a career .989 fielding percentage and .316 batting average in 164 games... hit 45 doubles and 35 home runs (three shy of career HR list) to go with 139 runs scored and 154 RBI.
COLUMBUS (Columbus) Burt Barto, Pitcher, Senior. Barto posted a 2-2 record and 8.45 ERA... struck out 20 in 38.1 innings... made three starts in 23 appearances... defeated Pittsburgh, throwing a scoreless 10th inning... gave up two runs in 3.1 innings in a start against North Florida to record the win... season-high three strikeouts on consecutive occasions (Kennesaw State and Elon)... four times this year pitched three or more innings... 3-2 career record during his two years... logged 67.1 innings, striking out 40.
CONYERS (Salem) Tony Chisman, Pitcher, Freshman. Chisman made a team-leading 28 relief appearances... 36 strikeouts in 30.1 innings, a team-leading 10.7 strikeouts per 9 innings... picked up win throwing scoreless inning at Furman... pitched three innings in game two at Wofford to earn his first save... 1-1, 6.53 ERA... in 16 appearances did not allow an earned run... six times struck out a season-high three batters.
DAHLONEGA (Lumpkin County) David Richardson, Outfield, Senior. Second Team All-Southern Conference... All-America by National Strength and Conditioning Association... Second Team Academic All-District... Georgia Southern Male Student-Athlete of the Year... Richardson worked his way into the starting lineup following the season-ending injury to Matt Miller... started 40 games in 50 appearances... .359 batting average with 11 doubles and nine home runs... 12-of-16 in stolen bases... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... hit for the cycle in consecutive innings during 15-9 win at Charleston, part of four hits , two RBI and two runs scored... homered in five consecutive games... in first start at Mercer went 3-for-6 with three runs and career-high five RBI... 5-for-5 against North Florida... nine RBI, nine hits and five runs scored in Wofford series... appeared in 161 games throughout his four-year career... 19 doubles, 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases... career .314 average and nine outfield assists.
DULUTH (Northside/North Florida CC) Roman Grimaldi, Infield, Sophomore. Grimaldi made 11 appearances off the bench and pitched in three games... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia, part of 2-RBI game... hitless outing his first two pitching appearances (Elon, Davidson), each lasting 1.0 innings.
DUNWOODY (St. Pius) Griffin Benedict, Junior, Catcher. Second Team All-Southern Conference... Benedict played in 57 games, making 55 starts... hit two of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... accounted for one of 19 times an Eagle recorded 60 runs scored/60 RBI, finishing with 60 runs and 65 RBI... .355 batting average in addition to 17 doubles and 12 home runs... hit two triples... season-high six RBI in Wofford finale, including his first career grand slam... four hits and five RBI in win over Jacksonville... four hits against North Florida... struck out only 20 times in 217 at-bats... in 167 career games recorded 125 runs and 130 RBI, along with 36 doubles and 19 home runs... stolen 16-20 bases.
EVANS (Greenbrier) Michael Hester, Pitcher, Freshman. Hester made two starts in 12 appearances... 1-1, 6.43 ERA in 21 innings... allowed just one run on three hits in 4.1 innings, winning at North Florida... three strikeouts against UNF and Jacksonville... two Ks in the Boston College and UNF games.
GRIFFIN (Griffin) Jeremy Beckham, Infield, Senior. Beckham started in 51 games... missed nearly two weeks with an injury... recovered to hit .333 with 41 runs and 25 RBI... team-leading 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts... stellar defensive performance posting a .973 fielding percentage at second base... 26 walks to only 22 strikeouts in 171 at-bats... drove in four runs in SoCon Tournament win over UNC Greensboro... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... five RBI in game three win over Western Carolina... six hits and six RBI in the series... went 6-for-13 with two runs and five RBI in the SoCon Tournament... finished career ninth all-time with 59 stolen bases... career .296 batting average and .945 fielding percentage playing in 179 games.
LaGRANGE (LaGrange) Drew Murray, Pitcher, Junior. Second Team All-Southern Conference (sports media association)... Murray started in all 14 appearances... 8-1, 6.66 ERA in 78.1 innings... team-leading 70 strikeouts... his .889 winning percentage tied for third on the GS season Top 10’ list... won his last five decisions... posted a 7-1 record in SoCon play... seven strikeouts in seven innings against Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on four hits but received a no-decision... seven Ks in five innings at Charleston... season-high eight strikeouts in win at Wofford, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings... two runs on four hits in seven innings during regular season win against UNC Greensboro... also defeated Columbia, Western Carolina, Charleston, Appalachian State, Davidson, Wofford, The Citadel and UNCG.
MARIETTA (Kell) A.J. Gilbert, Pitcher, Sophomore. Gilbert saw his first collegiate action after missing the last two years with an injury... 17.1 innings and 8.31 ERA in 21 relief appearances... 14 strikeouts, nine walks... did not record a decision... recorded 10 strikeouts in a four-game span, covering 12 outs... allowed one or fewer runs in 14 appearances...
MARIETTA (Sprayberry) Phillip Porter, Outfield, Junior. Porter turned in career-high numbers, making 48 starts in 53 games played... .365 batting average with 59 runs scored and 45 RBI... 13 doubles and seven home runs... stole 19-of-24 bases... recorded career-high five hits in Towson opener, including walk-off single to win... streak of five straight multi-hit games in mid-April then three games later started a streak of six straight multi-hit games... personal-high 15 game hitting streak... scored four runs on three occasions... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... stole five bases in the Wofford series... 3-for-8 at the SoCon Tournament, including three hits against UNC Greensboro and tied a record with seven at-bats.
MARIETTA (Walton) Kyle Blackburn, Infield, Sophomore. Blackburn made 20 starts in 34 games... hit .291 with five doubles and four home runs... hit two homers in Towson finale and scored three runs... three hits, three runs and two RBI in Boston College finale... 10-game hitting streak to start the season... 15 runs and 13 RBI overall.
MARTINEZ (Lakeside/Chattahoochee Valley CC) Chris Banker, Catcher, Sophomore. Banker made 11 appearances off the bench... 5-for-8 with four runs scored and four RBI... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... 2-RBI single against Jacksonville.
MONTROSE (West Laurens/ABAC) Ty Wright, Outfield/DH, Junior. First Team All-Southern Conference... SoCon Player of the Month’ in April... NCBWA National Player of the Week’... SoCon Player of the Week’... Wright started in 45 of 50 games played... featured in Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd’ after hitting for the cycle in the first four innings of game three at Wofford... 63 runs scored, 52 RBI this year batting mainly as leadoff hitter... team-leading 22 doubles... 17 home runs, including a program record six that led off a game... eight of his home runs started off an inning... 32 walks to 25 strikeouts in 196 at-bats... just missed the .400 club, finishing the year batting at a .398 clip... 9-for-12 in stolen bases... nine doubles in six game span... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... tied for sixth among the GS season doubles leaders... scored 16 runs in nine-game span... 6-for-14 at the SoCon Tournament with four runs scored... 10 runs scored, 10 hits and six RBI in the five games against UNC Greensboro... 17-for-38 stretch in April... five hits, five RBI and three runs scored when he hit for the cycle at Wofford... four RBI in the opener against The Citadel... two outfield assists in the SoCon Tournament against UNC Greensboro and just missed on a third... 12-game hitting streak this year.
MOULTRIE (Colquitt County) Aaron Eubanks, Pitcher, Senior. Eubanks made seven starts in 17 appearances... 6-2, 6.79 ERA in 51.2 innings... 30 strikeouts... fanned season-high five in Boston College game two... defeated Towson, #15 Michigan, Western Carolina, Jacksonville, Wofford and UNC Greensboro (SoCon Tournament)... worked at least five innings in three of his four weekend starts... finished three-year career with an 11-9 record and 5.97 ERA in 50 career appearances... 96 Ks in 138.2 innings.
MOULTRIE (Colquitt County) Will Southwell, Infield, Junior. Southwell made six starts in 29 games played... .286 batting average and .972 fielding percentage... 13 runs and nine RBI... three hits, three runs and three RBI in Columbia finale... hit game-tying 2-run double in ninth inning against Towson as Eagles went on to win... two hits on two occasions against Mercer... made key defensive stop at first base at Kennesaw State to preserve a tie and GS went on to win in 11 innings... six walks.
PULASKI (Metter) Justin Davis, Pitcher, R-Freshman. Davis made six starts in 13 appearances... 1-3, 10.00 ERA in 27 innings... in first collegiate start at #22 Georgia Tech threw 6.0 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out eight... scoreless inning at Kennesaw State... earned win in Columbia finale... five strikeouts at Charleston... four times recorded three Ks.
ROSWELL (Roswell) Brian Pierce, Infield, Junior. Third Team Academic All-District... Pierce started all 58 games, extending his career games started streak to 169 entering his senior year... .272 batting average... 37 runs scored and 31 RBI... 13 doubles... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... went 8-for-8 in two-game series against USC Upstate and drove in career-high six RBI in finale... scored four runs on five hits (three doubles) in Boston College series... one error in his last 15 games... three hits in consecutive games (Jacksonville, The Citadel)... three hits in SoCon Tournament game against UNC Greensboro... career .947 fielding percentage.
SAVANNAH (Benedictine) Kyle Kamppi, Pitcher, Junior. Kamppi started the year as closer and eventually worked way as starter in the Eagles’ Southern Conference Tournament opener... 5-4, 6.18 ERA... 10 starts in 20 appearances... struck out 58 in 67 innings... first start pitched four scoreless innings at Mercer... also defeated Towson, Davidson, Wofford and UNC Greensboro... career-high 8.0 innings in regular season win over UNCG, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts... six Ks and no walks in five innings at Davidson... career-high seven strikeouts and no walks in six innings versus Appalachian State, but received a no-decision.
STATESBORO (Statesboro) Kevin Bowles, Infield, Sophomore. Bowles made six starts in 19 games played, filling in for an injured Jeremy Beckham... 13 runs scored and seven RBI to go with .294 batting average... three hits, four runs scored and RBI in Wofford finale... two hits against Davidson and North Florida... 9-for-24 with six walks when he filled in lineup.
STATESBORO (Statesboro) Jake Ware, Infield, R-Freshman. Ware made one start in 20 games... .158 batting average with five runs and four RBI... hit one of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... two RBI against Columbia in series finale... 1-for-4 in his start against Boston College... walked and scored a run in game two of UNC Greensboro series... RBI at Davidson.
CINCINNATI, OH (Elder) Dave Rigdon, Pitcher, Freshman. Rigdon made six relief appearances... 10.50 ERA in 6.0 innings... scoreless two innings at Davidson.
STRASBURG, PA (Lampeter-Strasburg) Chris Shehan, Outfield, Junior. SoCon Player of the Year’ (sports media association)... First Team All-SoCon... Third Team Academic All-District... Finalist for THREE National Player of the Year’ awards... SoCon All-Tournament Team... SoCon Player of the Month’ in March... National Player of the Week (March 17)... two-time SoCon Player of the Week’... Shehan started in all 58 games... record-setting all-around performance, finishing with a .438 batting average, 84 runs scored (GS record), 77 RBI, 17 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, .843 slugging percentage, .557 on-base percentage, 53 walks, 22-of-24 stolen bases and six outfield assists... led the Eagles in all the above categories save for finishing tied for third in doubles and second in stolen bases... one shy of tying the SoCon season record for runs scored... among the GS season leaders finished: fourth in batting, tied for ninth in hits (98), first in runs scored, tied for eighth in home runs, tied for sixth in total bases, tied ninth in RBI and tied eighth in walks... will finish season ranked among national leaders in several offensive categories... team-leading 33 multi-hit games and 23 multi-RBI games... ended year on 15-game hitting streak... hit two of the NCAA record 14 home runs against Columbia... two home runs against Elon (SoCon Tournament), USC Upstate and Columbia... tied a GS single-game record drawing four walks against Jacksonville... four hits against USC Upstate, Columbia, Western Carolina and Elon (twice)... career-high seven RBI in Western Carolina game two, including a grand slam... matched career-high of four runs scored four times... batting average jumped 130 points during two week stretch in March and never fell below .432 the rest of the season... 6-for-12 with five runs and seven RBI in the SoCon Tournament... 25-for-56 during his 15-game hitting streak with 21 RBI and 19 runs scored... 9-for-14 with nine RBI against Western... 9-for-12 at Elon with six runs scored... 6-for-14 at Davidson... 6-for-11 against Boston College.
ATHENS, TN (McMinn County/Young Harris) Jonathan King, Outfield, Junior. King made six starts in 26 games... .317 batting average with 15 runs scored and seven RBI... 13 walks... finished the season-opening Boston College series 7-for-15 with four runs and four RBI... missed three weeks with an injury to his finger.
Published on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 00:07