Nationally-Ranked Eagles Prepare for Series at Georgia Tech
STATESBORO, Ga. Heading into a key week of road games, Georgia Southern Baseball will do so with the program’s first regular season national-ranking since 1996. The Eagles were ranked 26th in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll released Monday (April 6).
Georgia Southern ranked as high as seventh during the 1996 season, and was preseason ranked heading into the ’97 campaign but dropped its first six games that year. According to head coach Rodney Hennon the recognition is nice but his team has an important stretch of games ahead.
“Earning the national ranking is great recognition for our program. We have an important road trip starting this week against very good programs,” said Hennon. “We just have to stay focused on the next game and see if we can continue the momentum from last week.”
The Eagles will face another nationally-ranked team this week, two games at eighth-ranked Georgia Tech. Tuesday’s game (April 7) is a scheduled 6 p.m. first pitch with Wednesday’s slated for 4 p.m.
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 (21-7 overall) are coming off a three-game sweep of Southern Conference rival College of Charleston last weekend, improving to 17-3 at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Sophomore right-handers Michael Hester (Evans/Greenbrier) and Andy Moye (Alpharetta/Alpharetta) are slated to start on the mound. Hester owns a 2-0 record with 8.76 ERA in 12.1 innings pitched. Moye stands 3-0 with a 6.88 ERA in 35.1 innings.
Senior catcher Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) not only leads the team with his .410 batting average, but ranks fourth among the SoCon leaders. He also ranks first in the league getting hit by 13 pitches. Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) is next batting at a .355 clip, scoring a team-leading 32 runs while driving in 20.
Ty Wright (Montrose/ABAC) is close behind at .353 with 29 runs, 23 RBI, team-leading 8-of-9 stolen bases and 22 walks. Freshman Eric Phillips (Carrollton/Carrollton) has scored 20 runs and driven in 20 while hitting at a .348 clip. Kevin Bowles (Statesboro/Statesboro) hit five doubles last weekend, giving him a team-leading 10 this year. Kyle Kamppi (Savannah/Benedictine) earned the win in relief of game one versus the Cougars, improving to 2-1 with a team-leading five saves.
Georgia Southern enters the week posting a .315 team batting average, Southern Conference-leading .976 fielding percentage and 5.18 ERA. Early in the season the Eagles split their two-game home series against the Yellow Jackets, winning 6-5 but falling in game two 5-3.
A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) had two hits and three RBI in the win while Benedict also added two hits and scored twice. Charles Matthews (Athens/Spartanburg Methodist) earned the win while Dexter Bobo (Cumming/Darton College) earned the save.
In game two, Matt Miller (Canton/Woodstock), Porter and Bowles had two hits apiece.
Tech enters the series with a .313 team batting average, .964 fielding percentage and 4.26 ERA. The Yellow Jackets dropped 2-of-3 last weekend against North Carolina.
Right-hander Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 6.75 ERA) and left-hander Jed Bradley (1-1, 3.86) are scheduled to start, respectively.
Luke Murton owns a team-leading .366 batting average with 28 runs scored and 24 RBI. Tony Plagman is next at .356 with 28 runs scored, seven home runs and 32 RBI.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Monday, 06 April 2009 00:29