Baseball Closes Out Regular Season This Weekend
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern closes out the baseball regular season this weekend, playing host to Wofford in a three-game Southern Conference series. Friday night’s (May 15) first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. On Sunday the Eagles will honor their eight seniors prior to the 1:30 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
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.
If Georgia Southern can win at least two of the three games, they will clinch the second seed in next week’s SoCon Tournament.
Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius), who was named as one of 13 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award (nation’s top catcher), paces the offense with a .414 batting average (third SoCon/38th nationally) and .536 on-base percentage (fourth SoCon/eighth nationally). Entering the weekend he has recorded 14 doubles and 10 home runs.
He rejoined the program’s 50/50 club, now with 54 runs scored and 51 RBI. Benedict has walked (29) and been hit by a pitch (22) more times this year than he has struck out (21). The top ranked catcher in the country by Rivals.com, Benedict is now one hit by pitch away from breaking the program’s season record.
Fellow senior Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) increased his average to .353 at the plate, putting up career numbers in several offensive categories. His 33 RBI has nearly set a personal-high, while his batting average is more than 80 points higher than last year while striking out 21 fewer times. Pierce’s .976 fielding percentage is tops among all shortstops in the SoCon.
Phillip Porter (Marietta/Sprayberry) continues to lead the team hitting 11 home runs while batting at a .356 clip. He has scored 56 runs and driven in 44 this year. Last weekend he recorded his 100th career RBI (102). Porter stands second on the team stealing 11 bases in 16 attempts.
Freshman Eric Phillips (Carrollton/Carrollton) increased his batting average to .340 with 12 doubles, 37 runs scored and 37 RBI. A strong contender for SoCon Freshman of the Year’, Phillips is batting a team-high .411 in SoCon play.
For the second time in as many weekends, junior A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, AL/Paul Bryant) hit two home runs in a game. He is up to 10 homers on the year while hitting at a .293 clip and 33 runs scored with 47 RBI.
Chris Mederos (Valdosta/Gordon College) is scheduled to start game one. The junior right-hander stands 9-1 with a 4.14 ERA, striking out 83 in 74 innings. Mederos shares the SoCon lead in wins, and has sole possession of the strikeouts lead. Following his win last weekend, he improved to 6-1 in league play.
Jake Brown (Forest Hill, MD/Pitt CC) remains second in the SoCon with a 3.93 ERA. Browns owns a 5-3 record and struck out 49 batters in 68.2 innings (tied eighth SoCon). In league play Brown owns a 4-1 record and 3.30 ERA.
Freshman Matt Murray (Spring City, PA/Owen Roberts) is scheduled to start game three. He owns a 4-3 record and 5.13 ERA in 59.2 innings. Murray fanned 42 batters in 59.2 innings.
Overall, the Eagles rank sixth nationally averaging 9.6 runs per game. The team’s .321 batting average ranks fifth in the league, while the 5.00 ERA is second (74th nationally) and .974 fielding percentage ranks first (18th).
Wofford (17-29, 7-19) still has hopes of qualifying for the SoCon Tournament, but any combination of two Furman wins (vs. UNC Greensboro) or Wofford losses would end its season. Looking to snap an 11-game losing streak, the Terriers own a .289 team batting average, 8.28 ERA and .953 fielding percentage.
Michael Gilmartin leads the Terriers in: batting average (.338), home runs (12), runs scored (42), ERA (3.18), saves (7) and opponent batting average (.212). Kyle Behrendt is hitting at a .326 clip, and his 14 doubles lead the team. Scott Summers (3-4, 7.27) and John Cornely (3-2, 6.90) are scheduled to start games one and two.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Thursday, 14 May 2009 21:55