Baseball Prepares for Four Game Trek to Alabama
STATESBORO, Ga. Following final exams, Georgia Southern Baseball will take to the road for four games in the state of Alabama. The trek begins on Saturday afternoon (May 9) at Samford for a three-game series. The doubleheader on Saturday and single game on Sunday are both scheduled for a 2 p.m. Eastern first pitch.
Following the Samford series, Georgia Southern will travel to Auburn for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday night (May 12). The Eagles are looking to snap a 13-game losing streak in the neighboring state, dating back to the 2000 season.
Every baseball game can be heard on the Georgia Southern Radio Network, flagship station Eagle 102.9 FM in Statesboro, and via the internet at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com. Ryan Chambers will call the game and the broadcast will begin 30 minutes before first pitch.
The Eagles (32-14 overall, 14-8 SoCon) have already clinched a berth in the eight-team Southern Conference Tournament, and will try to regain the number two seed. GS, which has not played in nearly a week, is currently 1.5 games back of second place Western Carolina as the Catamounts will face league-leading Elon this weekend.
Senior catcher Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) continues to lead the Eagles’ hitting attack, batting .412 (fourth in the SoCon/49th nationally) with 49 runs scored (second on team) and 46 RBI (second). He has walked (27) and been hit by a pitch (20) more times this year than he has struck out (18), posting a .535 on-base percentage (fourth SoCon/sixth nationally). The top ranked catcher in the country by Rivals.com, Benedict has thrown out 20-of-54 runners trying to steal. He ranks third nationally in hit by pitches, three away from the GS season record.
Fellow senior Ty Wright (Montrose/ABAC) ranks 52nd nationally scoring a team-leading 55 runs. He also leads the Eagles in RBI (47) and stolen bases (15-of-17) while batting at a .364 clip. Wright ranks second in SoCon season history hitting two grand slams. Both Wright and Benedict are on the verge of rejoining the 50/50 club 50 runs scored and 50 RBI.
Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry), another senior outfielder, leads the team hitting nine home runs. He’s batting .341 with 48 runs scored and 39 RBI. Porter has stolen 11 bases in 15 attempts.
Senior shortstop Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) is batting a career-best .341 with 11 doubles and 32 RBI. Pierce, a member of the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, also was named CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-District this week. Freshman Eric Phillips (Carrollton/Carrollton) is close behind batting .340 with 34 runs scored and 35 RBI. Phillips ranks 99th nationally in toughest to strike out, once in every 12 at-bats.
Junior A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) hit a pair of home runs in game one of the Furman series, now with eight on the year. He jumped his batting average to .279 with 38 RBI.
Chris Mederos (Valdosta/Gordon College) is scheduled to start game one. The junior right-hander stands 8-1 with a 4.30 ERA, striking out 77 in 67 innings. Mederos shares the SoCon lead in wins, and has sole possession of the strikeouts lead.
Jake Brown (Forest Hill, MD/Pitt CC) turned in the program’s first nine-inning complete game in game two of the Furman series. The junior left-hander's 3.79 ERA now ranks second in the SoCon. Brown owns a 5-3 record, striking out 47 to 16 walks in 61.2 innings.
Freshman Matt Murray (Spring City, PA/Owen Roberts) will go in game three. Murray stands 3-3 with a 5.27 ERA in 54.2 innings. He has struck out 37 on the year.
Overall, the Eagles rank eighth nationally averaging 9.5 runs per game. They bring a .319 team batting average (61st nationally), .974 fielding percentage (17th) and 5.08 ERA (94th) into the series. Georgia Southern ranks fifth in batting, first in fielding percentage and third in ERA.
Samford (17-32, 9-18) has lost six of its last eight and 8-of-11 heading into the series. This marks the final Southern Conference series and last regular season games for the Bulldogs, looking to keep their hopes of qualifying for the SoCon Tournament alive. Samford is currently two losses back of Furman for the eighth and final spot. Georgia Southern and Samford have not met since the 1990 season and the Eagles own a 34-9 edge in the all-time series. The Bulldogs own a .291 team batting average, .962 fielding percentage and 7.30 ERA.
Stephen Ballard leads the hitting attack at a .354 clip with 15 doubles. Bo Smith (.350), David Schulze (.350) and Wayne Miller (.350) are tied for second in batting. Schulze has hit 10 doubles and nine home runs, in addition to his team-leading 54 RBI. Miller has swiped 24-of-26 bases, and leads the Bulldogs scoring 48 runs. Friday starter Michael Jarry (4-5) and Kyle Putkonen (4-3) share the team lead in wins. Kyle Nichols has recorded all five of the team’s saves (1-3, 4.50 ERA). The Bulldogs are also scheduled to throw senior right-hander David Knapp (3-5, 5.88) and sophomore right-hander Andrew Jones (3-5, 7.04).
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 08 May 2009 09:56