Eagle Baseball Turns in 34-Win Season
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern baseball turned in another 30-win season under the direction of head coach Rodney Hennon. The Eagles finished the 2007 season 34-28 overall, 13-14 in the Southern Conference.
The Eagles have recorded eight straight 30 win seasons under coach Hennon, paced by this year’s 23-8 record at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Chris Shehan and Jeremiah Parker led the Eagles at the plate. Shehan hit .341 with a team-leading 85 hits. Parker ended up hitting .324 while pacing the Eagles with 13 home runs. Senior Mike Economos hit .319, following Shehan with 73 hits.
A.J. Battisto was the only Eagle to earn All-SoCon honors, voted to the Second Team. Battisto is the first Georgia Southern relief pitcher in 10 years to have earned that honor. Battisto ended up 4-0 with 10 saves and posted an ERA of 3.00.
The Eagles returned 18 letterwinners and eight starters from last season, but lose seven seniors.
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS LISTED BY HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL):
TUSCALOOSA, AL (Paul Bear Bryant) A.J. Wirnsberger, Infield, Freshman. Wirnsberger started 56 times in 59 appearances...hit .287 with four home runs and 38 RBI... tied single-game record hitting three doubles in the Georgia Tech home finale... career-high seven RBI against Wofford in finale...career-high of four hits on two occasions (Georgia Tech and Wofford) ... finished 5-for-9 in the Wofford series with nine RBI and two runs scored... at the Eagle Invitational he finished with four runs and three RBI... walked twice versus Kennesaw State.
ALPHARETTA (MILTON) Charlie Strohecker, Pitcher, Freshman. Strohecker started one game in nine appearances (Brown)... ended the season with a 3-1 record and 7.80 ERA...missed final two months with injury but expected to return to full strength next year.
ATLANTA (MARIST) Mike Economos, Outfielder, Senior. Economos started 57 times in 59 appearances... hit .319 with 10 HR and 52 RBI... career-high five hits in season-opener at Hawaii... career-high five runs scored that game, tying a Georgia Southern record... went 4-for-4 in Georgia Tech finale... three runs, two doubles and two RBI... SoCon Player of the Week after Wofford series where he hit .583 with nine runs, seven RBI, two doubles, two HR and four walks... game-tying three-run double in the bottom ninth of game one against Wofford in which the Eagles eventually won in extra innings.
AUGUSTA (Westside) John Ducey, Senior, Pitcher. Ducey finished 4-3 with a 5.98 ERA in 49.2 innings... 34 strikeouts to 21 walks... picked up wins in his first two outings against Jacksonville (2 runs in 6.0 innings) and New Jersey Tech (no-hitter through 6.0 innings)... three runs in 6.0 innings against Lipscomb... two scoreless innings of relief at Appalachian State to pick up the win.
BONAIRE (HOUSTON COUNTY) Brain Wilkerson, Pitcher, Freshman. Wilkerson started 16 games... in debut start carried a no-hitter until the sixth inning at Hawaii... season-high nine strikeouts against Elon... 6.22 ERA with a 4-8 record... earned first home win thanks to stellar outing (on television) against Georgia Tech, seven hits in 6.2 innings and allowed three runs... pitched 8.0 innings in win over Ball State in Myrtle Beach, one run on four hits and season-high of five strikeouts.
BROOKS (STARRS’S MILL) Blake Nation, Pitcher, Sophomore. Nation had nine appearances as a sophomore... 0-0, 6.55 ERA... threw 2.0 scoreless innings in the opener against New Jersey Tech, three hits, two Ks and no walks... two runs and five hits in career-high 2.1 innings against Charleston, posting career-high 4 strikeouts and 2 walks.
CANTON (WOODSTOCK) Matt Miller, Outfield, Sophomore. Miller started 61 times in 62 appearances... batted .281... 21 doubles and five HR... 21 doubles tied for ninth place among season Top 10’ leaders... two doubles in the season-opener at Hawaii... four hits in the season-opening series and scored two runs... five hits against Troy and UNC Greensboro... five RBI in home opener against Georgia Tech... 4-for-10 at App State... four hits against UNCG in the SoCon Tournament, including a double and home run... finished SoCon Tournament 6-for-14.
CARROLLTON (CARROLLTON) Jeremiah Parker, Junior, Catcher. Parker hit .324 on the year... 17 doubles, 13 HR and 46 RBI... started 44 of 54 games played... became versatile defensive player, seeing action at DH, catcher, first base, left field and right field throughout the season... during Eagle Invitational, 2-5 with two runs and three RBI... 4-for-8 against Furman... tied career high of four hits in regular season game against Elon... career high four RBI in SoCon Tournament against Elon... hit five home runs in a three-game stretch in May (at Western Carolina, vs. Elon and vs. Western)... 6-for-12 with four runs and five RBI in SoCon Tournament.
COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS) Burt Barto, Junior, Pitcher. Barto started one game out of 19 appearances... 1-0 with one save and 7.14 ERA in 29 innings... earned save after allowing one run on two hits in 1.1 innings against Jacksonville... earned first GS win throwing 3.0 scoreless innings of relief against North Florida... season-high five strikeouts at Mercer... three Ks at Jacksonville and against UNF.
DAHLONEGA (LUMPKIN COUNTY) David Richardson, Junior, Outfielder. Richardson started five of the 29 games played in... batted .304 with six runs scored and four RBI... valuable defensive replacement in the outfield... recorded an outfield assist... went 2-for-3 with three runs scored against New Jersey Tech... matched career-high with three RBI in series opener.
DUNWOODY (ST. PIUS) Griffin Benedict, Sophomore, Catcher. Benedict batted .280 with 51 hits and 30 RBI... started in 50 of the 55 games he played in... third on the team with a .333 batting average in Hawaii... team-leading 5-for-11 in Myrtle Beach, including a 2-run single versus Bethune-Cookman... went 6-for7 in New Jersey Tech series with five runs and three RBI... tied Georgia Southern record hitting three doubles in one game that series... four runs and team-leading five walks against Lipscomb... 3-for-3 with a RBI against North Florida... tied a Georgia Southern and Southern Conference Tournament record drawing four walks against UNC Greensboro... delivered walk-off single in the previous game, a come-from-behind win over Western Carolina.
GRIFFIN (GRIFFIN) Jeremy Beckham, Junior, Infield. Beckham batted .254 with 60 hits and team-leading 28 stolen bases... 5-for-10 in the home sweep over Georgia Tech... three multi-hit games in Eagle Invitational... five runs against New Jersey Tech, drew four walks and a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases... batted .357 versus Davidson... 4-for-10 against Charleston, including his first career 2-home run game.
LaGRANGE (LaGRANGE) Drew Murray, Sophomore, Pitcher. Murray started in 12 of the 18 appearances this year... 4-7, 5.66 ERA and team-leading 64 strikeouts... second on the staff with 76.1 innings... season-high nine strikeouts through 6.0 innings in win over Jacksonville... complete-game win against Lipscomb, allowing one run on nine hits... earned win in relief during Davidson series, throwing 4.1 innings in game two.
LOGANVILLE (FAITH ACADEMY/GEORGIA PERIMETER) Chris Hollis, Senior, Outfielder. Hollis batted .213 on the season... started 25 of the 45 games played in... team-leading two triples... three hits in the Hawaii series, including two in game two... 15 runs and 14 RBI, including walk-off 2-run single in the Elon finale capping a come-from-behind win... three hits in Myrtle Beach and in the New Jersey Tech series.
MARIETTA (SPRAYBERRY) Phillip Porter, Sophomore, Outfield. Porter started 16 of the 26 games he appeared in... batted .390 with 23 hits and 11 RBI... career-high three hits on four occasions (Hawaii, North Florida, Brown and Kennesaw State)... 8-for-11 in the Eagle Invitational, including three multi-hit games... also hit first collegiate home run that weekend.
MARIETTA (WALTON) Kyle Blackburn, Freshmen, Infield. Blackburn started 28 of the 44 games he played in... batted .288 with 21 runs scored and 25 RBI... two home run game in Appalachian State finale, posting season-highs of three runs scored and five RBI... four hits in home win over Jacksonville... three runs and four walks in the New Jersey Tech series... hit a tape-measure home run to straightaway centerfield at UNC Greensboro, a 2-run shot and one of the longest known to be hit there... 3-for-4 at The Citadel, including a 3-run homer.
MOULTRIE, GA (COLQUITT COUNTY) Aaron Eubanks, Junior, Pitcher. Eubanks started 11 of the 17 game appearances... emerged midseason as the team’s number one starter... 3-5 with a 4.32 ERA in 66.2 innings... 2-2, 3.00 ERA in Southern Conference games... first career complete game in 12-1 win over Wofford, giving up one run on six hits while striking out a career-high nine... in that game retired 14 straight and 17-of-18 against the nation’s top home run hitting team... gave up one run on seven hits in 6.2 innings against Davidson... allowed two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings against Lipscomb.
MOULTRIE (COLQUITT COUNTY) Will Southwell, Sophomore, Infield. Southwell batted .338 with 12 runs and 17 RBI... started in 14 of 25 games... 3-for-4 against UNC Greensboro in the SoCon Tournament, matching his hits career-high... also had three hits against Georgia State and at Appalachian State... 4-for-9 during the Georgia State series with four runs scored... four hits in the Wofford series and drove in six runs, including the game-winner during the 12th inning of game one.
ROSWELL (ROSWELL) Brian Pierce, Sophomore, Infield. Pierce started in all 62 games, carrying a streak of 111 consecutive starts into his junior year... batted .286 with 24 runs and 25 RBI... went 3-for-6 with three runs scored at Georgia Tech... 4-for-7 during the two-game series in Jacksonville, including his first career HR at JU... 6-for-10 versus Lipscomb... 5-for-11 in the Furman series... 3-run double in finale win at UNC Greensboro, just missing a grand slam by inches, and overall had 12 assists and four putouts that weekend... 3-for-10 at the SoCon Tournament, tying his career-high hit total in the opener against Elon.
SAVANNAH (BENEDICTINE) Kyle Kamppi, Sophomore, Pitcher. Kamppi made a team- and Southern Conference-leading 37 relief appearances... 4-3 and three saves with a 4.82 ERA... picked up wins in consecutive appearances against Elon and Charleston, in addition to Appalachian State and at Mercer... save in the Georgia Tech home finale, against New Jersey Tech and pitching 3.0 scoreless innings against Wofford... season-high three strikeouts on six occasions... did not allow an earned run in 18 appearances, including a streak of 13.1 innings midseason.
STATESBORO (STATESBORO) Kevin Bowles, Redshirt-Freshmen, Infield. Bowles batted .500 in four games ... made his first collegiate appearance in New Jersey Tech opener... 2-for-4 in series with three runs... doubled during his first at-bat.
TOCCOA, GA (STEPHENS COUNTY) David Cogswell, Senior, Pitcher. Cogswell posted a team-leading 2.95 ERA, making 24 relief appearances... 3-0 record, posting wins over UNC Greensboro, Georgia State and Wofford... finished his four-year career with 92 relief appearances, tying for third place on the all-time list... career-high 4.2 innings pitched against Charleston... 1.2 hitless innings of relief in game two against Hawaii... 3.2 scoreless innings in Furman and Appalachian State series.
WAYCROSS (WARE COUNTY) John Lairsey, Senior, Pitcher. Lairsey emerged at the end of the season to play a key role down the stretch... went 4-0 during his final five starts (4-1 overall)... posted a 6.35 ERA in 56.2 innings... earned his first win in more than 14 months, allowing three runs on seven hits in eight innings against Georgia State... followed that with seven scoreless innings against Davidson on Senior Day... picked up the win at The Citadel on its Senior Day... allowed two runs in 6.2 innings while winning the regular season finale at Western Carolina, a must-win situation for the Eagles... finished his career 19-14 with one save and six complete games... his 49 starts are the fifth-most in GS history and 318.2 innings pitched ranks ninth.
CHERRY HILL, NJ (EAST) Mike Chiciak, Senior, Pitcher. Chiciak appeared in three games and made one start... pitched a scoreless inning of relief against New Jersey Tech and Georgia Tech... fanned two at Tech.
STRASBURG, PA (LAMPETER-STRASBURG) Chris Shehan, Sophomore, Infield/Outfield. Shehan started in 61 of his 62 games... team-leader with .342 batting average, 85 hits, 59 runs scored and 21 doubles while ranking second in home runs (10), RBI (50) and stolen bases (12)... switched to the outfield during the final month of the season... his 21 doubles tie for ninth among the Georgia Southern season Top 10’ leaders... first career grand slam in the New Jersey Tech series, batting a team-leading 8-for-13... tied a GS single-game record hitting three doubles during that series finale... 5-for-12 at the SoCon Tournament... 5-for-10 in Jacksonville... posted his third career 5-hit game in the home win over Jacksonville... personal-high 14-game hitting streak... 7-for-13 against Wofford, including six runs scored, four RBI and played in the outfield for the first time in his career... 6-for-11, including four doubles, in the Davidson series.
HATFIELD, PA (NORTH PENN) Justin Klinger, Senior, Outfielder. Klinger started 13 of the 25 appearances... batted .395 with five doubles, his first collegiate triple and three home runs... 10 runs and 13 RBI... 2-run homer to key win over UNC Greensboro... pinch-hit solo home run against Elon... 3-for-6 with three RBI and a run against Charleston, including a 3-run homer... tied personal-high hitting two doubles in a game at The Citadel... 3-for-6 during the Western Carolina series... ends his Georgia Southern career with a .311 batting average.
POTTSTOWN, PA (POTTSGROVE) A.J. Battisto, Senior, Pitcher. Second Team All-Southern Conference... One of the top relievers in the SoCon, posted a 4-0 record and 3.00 ERA in addition to 10 saves... shared the league-lead in saves and ranked fifth among the GS season Top 10’ leaders... pitched a season-high 4.0 innings against Brown (4 hits, 0 runs) and Wofford (3 hits, 0 runs) to earn the win in both games... matched career-high of five strikeouts during those four innings against Wofford... allowed just two hits in 2.2 scoreless innings in come-from-behind win over Western Carolina in the SoCon Tournament, earning the win... gave up one run on two hits in 1.1 innings picking up the win against Bethune-Cookman... his 92 career appearances, in just three years, tie him for third place among the GS career leaders... ends career 11-0 with 12 saves in 145 innings... drafted in the 30th round by the Florida Marlins.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Friday, 20 July 2007 00:23