Baseball Plays Host to Mercer in Only Home Game this Week
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Baseball team (18-11) will play host to one of the top teams in the Atlantic Sun, Mercer (21-9), in its only home game this week. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday at J.I. Clements Stadium. The Eagles moved into a first-place tie with Elon for the Southern Conference crown, while Mercer sits just three games out of the loss column in the A-Sun.
The Bears, a NCAA Regional team a year ago, went a perfect 4-0 last week and have not lost since the first game of the Kennesaw State series on March 25th. They started last week with a 4-2 win over #6 Georgia Tech in Atlanta before sweeping Campbell on the road in a three-game conference series. Mercer will continue a six-game road trip at Georgia State on Tuesday before traveling to Statesboro on Wednesday.
Georgia Southern dropped a mid-week game at Jacksonville, but rebounded with a series sweep of The Citadel at home, the first time they had done that since 2004. National and SoCon Player of the Week, Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, Mich.), powered the offense with six home runs on the week and propelled himself into a tie for second place in the NCAA with 12 on the season.
The two teams will meet for the 157th time on Wednesday, which is the most games played against a single opponent in Eagle history. However, the two squads have not met since 2008 when they split a two-game series. The road team won both games, with Georgia Southern taking the first game 17-2 on March 18th in Macon, Ga. Mercer came back and won the second game 6-4 at J.I Clements Stadium on May 5th of that year.
Georgia Southern continues to lead the Southern Conference with a .314 batting average and its second in slugging percentage with a .449 mark. The Eagles also lead the league in runs, hits, RBIs and are second in home runs this season. The GSU pitching staff is in second place in the league with a 3.74 ERA and is one of two teams with an ERA of 4.00 or less. Georgia Southern pitchers have also allowed the third fewest free passes in the league.
Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) continues to lower his already absurd earned run average and paces the Southern Conference with a 0.57 ERA and a .139 opposing batting average. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) continues to lead the conference in hitting with a .432 batting average and is second in on-base percentage with a .519 mark. Roache made up a ton of ground in the conference rankings after his impressive week of work at the plate. The sophomore is now second in the SoCon with a .702 slugging percentage and passed two other Eagles to move into second in the RBI column with 35. His 12 home runs and 80 total bases leads the league.
Mercer is hitting .313 as a club, with 44 home runs and 64 doubles on the year. Joe Winker leads them at the plate with a .395 batting average and is tied for the team lead with eight dingers. Jacob Tanish leads the team in the RBI department with 38. The Bears' pitching staff has posted an impressive 3.31 team ERA and has struck out 240 batters to only 74 walks this season.
The Eagles will make their longest road trip of the season this weekend when they venture out to Beckley, W.Va. to face Marshall. The three-game series opens Friday night at 6:05 p.m. and continues Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
Georgia Southern Baseball games can be heard live on Eagle 102.9 FM and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision with broadcasts beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Ryan Chambers of the Georgia Southern Radio Network will call all the action.
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, 05 April 2011 12:10