Bears provide Eagles with tough matchup

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Shakeem Holloway

Undefeated at home, a 14-3 Mercer University team awaits today’s arrival of the 9-6 Georgia Southern University baseball team, which is coming off a sweep against Southern Conference foe Wofford College.

In 162 games against the Bears, GSU holds a 114-44-2 all-time record. The Eagles are 18-12-1 all-time in Macon and 13-6 against the Bears under head coach Rodney Hennon.

Up to this point in the season most of the Eagles games have been at home, where their record is a solid 8-5. The Eagles have managed a 1-1 record in two road games with the lone win coming over the 13th ranked University of Florida.

The Bears only have three losses with one of them coming against the Georgia Institute of Technology that beat the Eagles twice.

GT beat the Bears 16-9. So far this year the Bears are a complete team, they have a good lineup of heavy hitters and an impressive pitching rotation.

The Bears have six batters in their starting lineup that have a batting average of .295 or higher. Offensively they are led by junior outfielder Derrick Workman posting an amazing average at the plate of .442 backed by 23 hits, 23 RBI, 14 runs scored and four homeruns.

Also boasting a good batting average is sophomore infielder Chesny Young who bats .352 with 25 hits, 19 RBI, 17 runs and three triples.

On the mound the Bears are led by junior right-hander D.J. Johnson and his 3-0 record as a starter. Johnson has a 1.12 ERA in 24 innings pitched allowing only three earned runs on 13 hits.

Two other starters, right-handed pitchers junior Brandon Barker (1.90 ERA) and sophomore Ben Lumsden (2.12 ERA), are 2-0 on the season.

The Eagles have hot bats of their own to contest the Bears’ rotation. Junior infielder Ben Morgan and junior outfielder Robbie Dodds lead the Eagles in batting average with .371 and .393 respectively.

Morgan also leads the team in hits (23) and runs scored (18). Morgan is 10-12 in stolen base attempts this season.

As far as the Eagles’ rotation is concerned it is not as strong as the Bears’ rotation statistically, but GSU has starting pitchers with wins, the only statistic that matters.

Right-handed pitcher Josh Stevenson will start for the Eagles today, his second straight mid-week start. Stevenson is 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in four appearances and one start.

Sophomore pitcher Sam Howard and freshmen lefty Jason Richman are both 3-1 on the season. However, both also sport an ERA above 4.00.

In the last five games, the Eagles’ rotation has come on strong averaging a 1.84 ERA and allowing only nine runs.

This will be the beginning of a five-game road trip for the Eagles, and it begins at 6 p.m. today.