JuCo transfers off to hot start

Colin Ritsick

Following the only sub-30 win season in head coach Rodney Hennon’s 14-year career, he had some big roster decisions to make going into the off-season.

Hennon could either keep his squad the way it was and hope that the nationally recognized freshman recruiting class would be the spark the team needed or he could clear house and make way for some talented junior college transfers.

He basically told some of the guys that were on the team last year that they were welcome to try out in the fall but they wouldn’t be making the team, a source inside of Georgia Southern Athletics said.

He chose to make way for some fresh faces – and so far it has paid off.

Out of six junior college transfers, juniors Aaron Mizell and Dalton Busby have become consistent offensive threats for the red-hot Eagles (7-1). Junior outfielder Kody Adams, junior RHP Josh Wirsu and junior RHP Eric Alonzo are transfers that have all contributed to GSU’s success as well thus far, but Mizell and Busby have emerged as two of GSU’s top offensive producers.

Mizell is an outfielder that came to Statesboro from Gordon State College. He is a 5-foot-10, 162 pound lefty that has more pop than you would imagine for a guy his size.

“Aaron’s got a good sound approach at the plate. He’s got some maturity about him, he’s athletic and right now he’s got a lot of confidence,” Hennon said.

With the start to the season he is having, he ought to have confidence. In six starts, he is batting .417 (10-24) with nine RBI, two home runs, six runs and only three strikeouts.

He banged up his shoulder running into the right-field fence on a deep fly ball in the first game of Saturday’s double-header and has not started either game since then. He is expected to be all right and back on the field soon.

“He is day-to-day right now. We don’t think it’s anything serious. He’ll see the doctor tomorrow,” Hennon said.

Busby is the only out-of-state transfer in the bunch, coming from State College of Florida. Busby has taken over the starting role at shortstop. He is as sure-handed of a defensive player as exists on GSU’s squad.

“He’s a good player. Obviously his strength is his defense, we knew that when we signed him,” Hennon said.

It has been his production at the plate that has raised eyebrows so far.

Busby has started all eight games and is hitting .382 (13-34) with 11 RBI, 10 runs and two homeruns.

With seven wins in eight games, three of which came against in-state powerhouses, Hennon is looking like a smart man having cleared space for these athletes.