Eagle Baseball Travels to Keith LeClair Classic
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern University Baseball takes to the road for their first weekend roadtrip. The Eagles travel to East Carolina for the Keith LeClair Classic. The annual tournament, in its fifth year, will also feature 23rd-ranked Michigan and Pittsburgh.
The Eagles (4-5 overall) open the Classic against 23rd-ranked Michigan, Friday afternoon (March 7) at 1 p.m. GS takes on Pittsburgh Saturday morning at 11 a.m. then faces the host Pirates Sunday at 2 p.m. All three games will be broadcasted on the Georgia Southern Radio Network. This weekend the games will be moved to Best Country 94.9 FM and every game can be listed to on the www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com website.
The Keith LeClair classic is named after the former baseball coach who passed away in 2006 from ALS. Georgia Southern head coach Rodney Hennon and assistant coaches Mike Tidick and Jason Beverlin all played for LeClair when he was the coach at Western Carolina.
Hennon, who is in his ninth year in charge of Eagle Baseball, remains one shy of win #300 at Georgia Southern. He owns a 299-196 record in Statesboro and 380-234-1 in 11 years overall as a head coach.
Earlier this week GS dropped a 10-7 decision at Bethune-Cookman to snap a three-game winning streak. Kyle Blackburn (Marietta/Walton) extended his hitting streak to a personal-high nine games.
GS improved its batting average to .337 while also posting a .971 fielding percentage and 8.13 ERA. Aaron Eubanks (Moultrie/Colquitt County) will get the start against the Wolverines with Drew Murray (LaGrange/LaGrange) going against Pitt and Andy Moye (Alpharetta/Alpharetta) to face East Carolina.
Eubanks (1-1) picked up his first win of the year last weekend against Towson. He dropped his ERA to 9.35, striking out six in 8.2 innings. Murray has two no-decisions to start the year. The junior right-hander owns an 11.17 ERA striking out eight in 9.2 innings. Moye improved to 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA after winning the Towson finale. He has fanned eight in 10 innings of work.
Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) owns the team batting lead, .565 with five runs scored and six RBI. He has started four straight games and shares the team lead with four stolen bases. Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock) is hitting at a .421 clip with team-highs of 15 runs scored and six doubles. Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) is also hitting above .400, now .406 with 11 runs scored, 12 RBI and three home runs.
Blackburn holds the team-lead with four home runs, in addition to his .382 batting average, 11 runs and 10 RBI. Seven of the Eagles starters are batting .290 or higher.
“We’re looking forward to the Keith LeClair Classic. I think it will be a NCAA Regional type atmosphere with Regional type competition in Michigan, Pittsburgh and East Carolina. This will be a great opportunity for our team, a great environment to play in and we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Hennon. “This tournament is special. I’m glad that East Carolina still honors Coach LeClair by hosting this event in his name.”
ECU (5-4) is coming off 20-13 and 7-4 victories against Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth, respectively, during the week. The Eagles own a 12-8 all-time advantage versus East Carolina, but the two teams have not met since ECU took a pair in February 2004 in the first-ever LeClair Classic. The Pirates bring a team .305 batting average, .941 fielding mark and 6.20 ERA into the weekend.
Michigan (4-3) dropped three of four games in Arizona last weekend, with two of the losses against No. 1 ranked Arizona State. The Wolverines (coming off a 2007 campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals) own a .331 batting average, .962 fielding percentage and 6.97 ERA. Georgia Southern defeated Michigan 4-3 in 10 innings during the 2006 Eagle Invitational, the only meeting between the two squads.
Pittsburgh (3-3) defeated Maryland Eastern Shore twice last weekend. The Panthers bring a .284 batting average, .963 fielding percentage and 5.14 ERA into the Classic. This will be the first meeting between GS and Pitt.
Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:05