Eagles Travel to Greensboro for Meeting of Top-Three SoCon Squads
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Baseball Team (25-16, 13-5) travels to Greensboro, N.C. for a clash of two of the top-three teams in the Southern Conference standings. The three-game series features the SoCon leader, the Eagles, and UNC Greensboro (22-17, 11-7), who is tied for third with its 11-7 conference record.
GSU won five out of its last six contests and its last four conference series. They will look to carry over that success into another crucial Southern Conference weekend series. Georgia Southern swept the 2010 series against the Spartans to improve their advantage in the all-time series to 25-19. The Eagles got great starting pitching efforts in last year's meeting between the two teams. Jake Brown, Matt Murray (Spring City, Pa.) and Andy Moye (Alpharetta, Ga.) all recorded quality starts. Brown went the distance in game one and Moye bookend the weekend with eight shutout innings.
The Eagles completed the season sweep of Kennesaw State with an 11-7 victory in their last outing, its first Wednesday win of the season. Tallying 15 hits and reaped the benefits of two Owl errors. Five GSU hitters recorded multi-hit games with four of the five top-five hitters in the lineup accounting for most of them.
Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) recorded a baseball career highlight reel with four hits including a double in the ninth inning, to complete the cycle. Payne homered in the fourth and was aided by a building that is in play in left field that kept a ball in the field for his triple in the sixth. He singled in the seventh and doubled in the ninth for the first cycle by an Eagle since 2009. Ty Wright tallied the last cycle for Georgia Southern against Wofford two years ago on the same date (April 27th).
As a team, Georgia Southern continues to lead the SoCon with a .307 batting average and is fifth in the league with a 4.41 ERA. The Eagles also are tops in the conference with 449 hits this season and have allowed the second fewest walks as a staff, 142 to 278 strikeouts. Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) leads the conference in batting average (.423), on-base percentage (.500) and hits (69). Roache leads the conference in home runs with 20, which leads all NCAA Division I hitters. He ranks second in the league in slugging percentage (.753).
The Spartans have won four out of their last five contests including a series victory over Samford last weekend. UNCG defeated High Point 10-3 at home in their midweek game on Wednesday. Greensboro has played well at home in UNCG Baseball Stadium this year and host posted a 17-11 record in their ballpark.
UNCG is hitting .252 as a squad this year but leads the league with 52 sacrifice bunts. The Spartans are also fifth in the conference with 183 walks and have struck out the fourth fewest times among SoCon Teams. The Spartan pitching staff has amassed a 4.82 ERA and holds opposing hitters to a .261 batting average.
Georgia Southern and UNC Greensboro will continue the three-game series on Saturday and Sunday, with a pair of 1 p.m. starts.
All games can be heard on Eagle 102.9 FM in Statesboro and are also available online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision 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 Thursday, 28 April 2011 12:46