Baseball Faces Reigning SoCon Champions this Weekend
Dates: Fri.-Sun., March 15-17
Times: 7 p.m., 3 p.m., 2 p.m.
Site: Birmingham, Ala./Joe Lee Griffin Field (1,000)
TV/Video Stream: None
Play-by-Play: None; Analyst: None
Baseball Radio Network: gseagles.com/watch-listen
103.7 FM - WBMX - Metter/Statesboro
900 AM - WJLG - Savannah
1370 AM - WLOP - Jesup
Play-by-Play: Ryan Chambers; Analyst: Kris Draper
Live Stats: samfordsports.com
Twitter Updates: @GSAthletics/@GSScores
Series: Ga. Southern leads 44-13 (57 games)
Statesboro: Ga. Southern leads 10-2
Birmingham: Ga. Southern leads 9-3
Neutral Site: Tied 1-1
Unknown: Ga. Southern leads 23-8
First Meeting: 1983 - W, 10-0
Last Meeting: 5/06/12 - Statesboro, Ga. - W, 3-2
Last GSU Series Win: 4/25-26/00 - Statesboro
Last Series Loss: 4/16-18/10 - Statesboro
Streak: Samford, 1 Win
Georgia Southern (10-6, 3-0 SoCon) continues a five-game road swing at Samford (11-7, 1-2 SoCon) this weekend. First pitch Friday at Joe Lee Griffin Field is set for 7 p.m. EDT. The series concludes with a 3 p.m. EDT contest on Saturday and 2 p.m. EDT game on Sunday.
Georgia Southern will send LHP Sam Howard (3-1, 4.18) and LHP Jason Richman (3-1, 4.50) to the mound on Friday and Saturday. The Eagles have not named a starter for Sunday’s contest.
All three game can be heard on the Georgia Southern Radio Network. Network coverage starts 30 minutes before first pitch.
The Eagles currently sit in first place in the Southern Conference after opening league play with a sweep of Wofford.
Georgia Southern holds a 44-13 all-time record in the 57 game series with the Bulldogs. The Eagles are 9-5 against Samford since they joined the SoCon in 2009.
The two teams have met in the past two Southern Conference Championship Games.
Friday will be the fifth anniversary of Georgia Southern’s NCAA record setting 14 home run game against Columbia (3/15/08). In all 12 different Eagles hit a home run. Griffin Benedict and Chris Shehan both hit two home runs in the 26-8 win.
Friday night’s contest will also be the 800th career game as Georgia Southern head coach for Rodney Hennon.
GSU is 2-1 away from Statesboro this year. A year ago the Eagles went 11-16 on the road and 3-1 at neutral sites.
Georgia Southern is 10-6, 3-0 after 16 games this season. A year ago the Eagles were 7-9, 0-3 after 16 games.
T.D. Davis, Chase Griffin and Ben Morgan have combined for nine of the team’s 12 home runs this season.
Scooter Williams holds a .474 on-base percentage after being hit by a league-best 11 pitches and drawing seven walks.
Brent Pugh is hitting a career-best .278 after 15 games this season. Pugh holds a career .232 batting average with 14 doubles and 42 runs scored.
Georgia Southern has no players from the state of Alabama, but pitching coach B.J. Green hails from Gardendale, Ala. Green pitched for Alabama from 1998-01 and was a member of the 1999 College World Series team.
WATCH & LISTEN
All Georgia Southern home games will be video streamed on gseagles.com/watch-listen for free. The stream will carry the Georgia Southern Radio Network’s feed with long-time play-by-play voice Ryan Chambers and color commentator Kris Draper on the call.
The Radio Network will also air the entire baseball schedule on 103.7 FM in Metter/Statesboro, 900 AM in Savannah and 1370 AM in Jesup.
Justin Hess needs to throw just 7.2 more innings to reach 200 career innings pitched. He is also 16 strikeouts from 200 career strikeouts.
Since replacing the injured Hunter Thomas, Robbie Dodds is hitting .406 with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games.
Georgia Southern has tallied 10 or more hits in nine of their 16 contests this season.
The Eagles have recorded at least one extra base hit in every game this season.
Georgia Southern ranks 24th in total attendance (22,214) and ranks 32nd in average attendance (1,708) in the nation.
In his 14th season at the helm of Georgia Southern’s program, head coach Rodney Hennon is the second winningest active coach in the SoCon.
T.D. Davis broke open a 7-7 tie with a RBI double as Georgia Southern scored three runs in the ninth inning to snap a 14-game Mercer home winning streak.
Matt McCall allowed one run over the final 2.1 innings to earn the win in a 10-7 Eagle victory. McCall earned his first GSU win against his former team. The junior transferred after two seasons with the Bears.
The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak in the series and extended their current winning streak to four games.
Georgia Southern recorded 13 hits and had six different players with two hits. Brent Pugh hit two doubles and scored a pair of runs, while the trio of Chase Griffin, T.D. Davis and Robbie Dodds drove in two runs each.
Josh Stevenson posted a solid outing in his second start of the season and left with the lead. Stevenson allowed four runs on five hits and struck out five batters over 5.2 innings.
SAMFORD SERIES HISTORY
Georgia Southern holds a 44-13 edge in the 57 game all-time series.
The series opened in 1983 with an 10-0 Eagle win.
Georgia Southern is 9-3 all-time on the road in the series.
Despite dropping two-straight series to the Bulldogs, the Eagles are 9-5 since Samford joined the Southern Conference.
The two teams have meet in the past two SoCon Tournament Championship game.
A YEAR AGO
Samford won the 2012 series in Statesboro with a pair of one-run games on Friday and Saturday. Georgia Southern won the finale 3-2 on Sunday to avoid the sweep.
Former Eagle Eric Phillips led the team with eight hits in 12 at-bats (.667) in the series and drove in five runs.
Kyle Rowe threw four scoreless innings over two appearances and earned a win on Sunday.
Georgia Southern led 4-3 after the fifth inning, but Samford struck for two runs in the sixth to win 5-4 in the series opener.
The Eagles rallied to within a run in the ninth inning of Saturday’s contest. C.K. Irby struck out Chase Griffin with runners on the corners and two outs to preserve a 6-5 Bulldog win.
2012 Series-Opening Lineup: Eric Phillips SS, Scooter Williams CF, Michael Burruss LF, Chase Griffin C, Stryker Brown RF, T.D. Davis 1B, Tyler Avera 2B, Brent Pugh 3B, Hunter Thomas DH.
2012 Pitching Rotation: Chris Beck, Justin Hess, Will Middour.
FIRST INNING SUCCESS
Georgia Southern has scored a first-inning run in 13 of its 16 games this season and is 8-5 when scoring in the first inning.
The Eagles hold a 24-7 run advantage in the first inning, their largest advantage in any inning this season.
GSU is 8-3 when scoring first and has done so in the last three contests.
A year ago the Eagles scored 12 less runs (32-44) in the first inning than their opponents and went 13-8 when scoring in the first inning.
MANNING THE HOT CORNER
In eight starts at third base this season, Brent Pugh has helped the Eagles to a 6-2 record and a 42-27 record over 69 career starts at the hot corner.
Georgia Southern has posted a .609 winning percentage with Brent Pugh at third base, compared to a .520 percentage (51-47) when he doesn’t man the hot corner.
In his third season in the program, Brent Pugh has yet to make an opening day start but has started when the Eagles needed him the most. Pugh was the starting third baseman in the 2011 and 2012 Southern Conference Championship games and in the 2011 Columbia Regional.
Brent Pugh is hitting .278 with four doubles and five RBIs. He hit his first career home run against Wofford on Sunday.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new "Eagles GATA" mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:28