The last time that Georgia Southern University and Samford University met on a baseball field the Bulldogs left as the Southern Conference champions, and the Eagles left with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Samford (11-7, 1-2 SoCon) took down GSU (10-6, 3-0 SoCon) three times out of four games last season. This statistic, however, is not too telling of the overall record between the pair. GSU holds a 44-13 all-time record against the Bulldogs.
These rivals meet for the only time this year in Birmingham, Ala. at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
The Bulldogs won 41 games last year. The three weekend starters that bolstered the Bulldogs all the way to the school’s first ever NCAA Tournament are now gone, leaving behind a team that is struggling to find its identity on the mound.
The Eagles on the other hand are looking to extend their current four-game win streak after beating Mercer University and sweeping Wofford College last weekend. GSU will take to Birmingham one of the most dominant two, three and four hitters in the conference.
Junior infielder Ben Morgan is tied for second in the SoCon in runs scored and tied for seventh in total hits. Sophomore catcher Chase Griffin ranks first in runs batted in and senior infielder T.D. Davis ranks fifth. Put these three batters together back-to-back-to-back in the lineup and there is a recipe for success.
As potent as the offense for the Eagles has been so far this year, the young left-handed starting pitchers have been equally, if not more so, effective for GSU.
Sophomore pitcher Sam Howard and freshman pitcher Jason Richman both hold 3-1 records. Howard has struck out an impressive 25 batters this year and holds a 4.18 ERA. Richman has a 4.50 ERA but has only allowed opponents a .256 batting average this season; the lowest of any starter for GSU.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.