Baseball Packs Up the Bags for the First Time in 2011
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Baseball team (6-2) packs up its bags for the first time in 2011 and will face North Florida (4-3) at Harmon Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Jarret Leverett (Eatonton, Ga.) will make his second start on the mound after earning a no decision in last Tuesday's win over #21 Georgia Tech. The Ospreys will counter with Jacksonville native Marshal Rosenberger, who will be making his career debut on the mound.
The Eagles just wrapped up an eight-game homestand with a sweep of North Carolina Central on Sunday, February 27th, and first baseman Steve Cochrane (Mooresville, N.C.) was named the Southern Conference's Baseball Player of the Week on Monday.
Cochrane hit .412 (7-17) with two home runs and 13 RBIs during five games last week. He came up big in the ninth inning of the win over Georgia Tech. The senior drew a walk with the bases loaded to plate the tying run. Cochrane recorded seven RBIs, just two short of the school single game record, in Sunday's 20-4 win over North Carolina Central.
Georgia Southern scored 47 runs over the weekend in the series sweep of North Carolina Central to take the Southern Conference lead in that category with 86 runs scored. So far this year the Eagles are the first team in the SoCon to reach 100 hits in 2011. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) is hitting a team-best .433 in eight games. Cochrane has nearly caught up with Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) in the RBI department and is second on the squad with 14.
Georgia Southern received votes in the polls for the first time in 2011 following a 4-1 week. The Eagles picked up three votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top-25 Poll released on Monday, Februay 28th. College of Charleston is the only other Southern Conference team receiving votes in the current poll and rings in at #25.
North Florida, led by first-year Head Coach Smoke Laval, started out the 2011 campaign on the road at Charleston Southern and took the series with a 7-0 win in the finale. Michael Smith drove in three runs on three hits, while Robbie Collier combined with Kyle Westwood for the shutout win.
Laval led LSU to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 2003 and 2004 and takes over for Dusty Rhoades. The 13-year head coach is in charge of his third program and started his college head coaching career at ULM.
The Ospreys opened a 13-game homestand with a 5-0 victory over Liberty last Friday. Casey Medlan and Tyler Moore combined a three-hit shutout of the Flames. UNF fell 8-5 in the second game of the series before taking the second game of a doubleheader 8-5. Liberty bounced back on Sunday to record a split in the series.
Georgia Southern holds a 6-2 record in the all-time series against North Florida after splitting last season's meetings. The home team came out a winner in both games between the Ospreys and the Eagles a year ago. UNF came out on top 14-3 on March 2nd, 2010, but Georgia Southern rebounded to pull out a close one 3-2 in Statesboro on March 30th, 2010.
Georgia Southern struck first in both contests, scoring a run in the first inning in both games; however in the early March meeting, North Florida scored eight unanswered runs in the middle innings. The Ospreys tacked on six more in the 7th and 8th innings to record the 14-3 win.
It was a much different game in Statesboro later on in the month. Justin Hess (Panama City, Fla.) carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning but left the game with a no decision after UNF tied it at 2-2. Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.), who pinch-ran for Cochrane, came around to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a fielder's choice.
The Eagles will return home following the mid-week contest for a three-game series with St. John's this weekend. The series opens Friday at J.I. Clements Stadium at 6 p.m.
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).
All games can be heard on 102.9 FM in Statesboro and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will have the call live from Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday.
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 Tuesday, 01 March 2011 12:28