Spartans to go to war with GSU

Shakeem Holloway

The Georgia Southern University baseball team, which was recently ranked 22nd in the country by the magazine Baseball America, will look to deny the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in a three-game series.

These are two teams on different sides of the spectrum at this point of the season. The Eagles have won five of their last six Southern Conference matchups, and they are number one in the SoCon. On the other hand, the Spartans have lost five of their last six SoCon games and are currently in last place in the conference.

On paper, this is a difficult matchup for the Eagles. Through 23 games played for both teams, the Spartans lead GSU in multiple categories despite the Eagles having a better record.

As a team, the Spartans have a better batting average than GSU (.298-.280). The Spartans have scored more runs than the Eagles with 154 to 143, and they barely edge out the Eagles in on-base percentage with .375 in comparison to .371 for the Eagles.

One thing the Eagles do better than the Spartans is not make mistakes. The Spartans lead the SoCon in errors with 52 and the Eagles are ninth with 32.

GSU also ranks light-years ahead of the Spartans in fielding percentage. The Eagles boast an incredible fielding percentage of .962 which puts them in third place of the SoCon. The Spartans on the other hand, rank yet again at the bottom with a fielding percentage of .943.

Two headliners of the Spartans’ weekend rotation are sophomore starting pitchers Lee Gilliam and Max Povse. Gilliam and Povse combine for 57 strikeouts.

Gilliam is 1-1 in six starts, his only appearances, with a 1.54 ERA through 35 innings pitched. Povse holds a 3.90 ERA with a 1-0 record through six starts and 27.2 innings pitched.

Freshman pitcher Jason Richman and sophomore pitcher Sam Howard are still going strong as the top two starters for the Eagles’ weekend rotation.

Richman (4-1) has a 4.73 ERA through 32.1 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts. Howard is right there with Richman, as Howard (4-2) has a 4.75 ERA with 41 strikeouts.

Unlike a typical weekend series, the first pitch is set for today at 6 p.m., and the three-game series will continue through Saturday.