Baseball Opens Season at Home Friday
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Baseball team opens the 2012 season at J.I. Clements Stadium for the fifth-straight year and begins an eight-game homestand with UT Martin Friday at 6 p.m. The series with the Skyhawks is the first ever meeting between the two schools in the Eagles' 64 year history. GSU will also make one final preseason appearance tonight at the Bulloch County Eagle Club's kickoff dinner in the Bishop Fieldhouse.
Georgia Southern is eager to start its 2011 Southern Conference Tournament Title defense with the first of eight games at home in the month of February. The Eagles finished last season with a 36-26 record, the 12th-straight 30 win season under Head Coach Rodney Hennon, and won their second SoCon Tournament Championship in three years with a shutout of Samford.
GSU returns a core group of players, including Baseball America Preseason All-Americans Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.) and Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.), and adds 16 newcomers to the team. Beck and Josh Adams (Bath, S.C.) return to the weekend rotation after winning nine games each a year ago. Joining them on the mound this weekend is Santa Fe College transfer, Kyle Rowe (Valdosta, Ga.), who is slated to throw Sunday.
Some new faces will be joining Roache, who led the NCAA with 30 home runs last year, in the field including transfer T.D. Davis (Evans, Ga.). Davis gives the Eagles a big target at first base and has been swinging the bat well in the preseason scrimmages. Scooter Williams (Detroit, Mich.) is set to take over for Shawn Payne, who was drafted in the 35th round, in center field. Also returning in the field is Preseason All-SoCon selection Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.), who led last year's team with a .390 batting average.
UT Martin finished 6th in the Ohio Valley Conference a year ago with a 20-36, 10-13 record. The Skyhawks will field an entirely new infield after the loss to graduation of Cody Terry and Wes Patterson, who both set numerous school offensive records.
Taking the mound this weekend for UT Martin will be Alec Mills, Brendan Lozupone and Danny Kelley. Mills led the 2011 squad with seven wins but appeared primarily out of the bullpen. Kelley is the only one of the three to appear in the rotation last season and logged 15 starts over 78.0 innings.
The three-game series continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Boomer 103.7 FM and in stadium on 88.1 FM.
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- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 17 February 2012 01:26