GSU looks to contain in-state power house

Colin Ritsick

The national powerhouse opponents for the Georgia Southern University baseball team continue as the Eagles host the No. 20 Georgia Institute of Technology in a two-game series today and tomorrow at J.I. Clements Stadium.

GSU (4-2, 0-0 Southern Conference) will be the Yellow Jackets’ (6-1, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) first road contest this year. GT brings with it a very effective offense, scoring a total of 54 runs in just seven games. The Eagle pitching staff has not faced an offense as potent and as deep as the Yellow Jackets.

GT’s starting lineup features four players with batting averages over .400, which is a rarity even this early in the season. In addition to high averages, the in-state rival’s entire lineup has an on-base percentage of .424 – which means that almost one in every two batter reaches base safely. Needless to say, GSU pitchers will have their hands full come Tuesday.

However, the Eagle pitchers are no strangers to stepping up in pressure-packed situations. In the two wins against the No. 29 University of Georgia and the victory over the No. 13 University of Florida, head coach Rodney Hennon started a sophomore and two true freshman, both of whom were making their first collegiate start. Each of those pitchers rose to the occasion and paved the way for three Eagle victories.

On the opposite side of the field, GSU carries a high-octane offense of its own. The team has batted a collective .372 in six games, headlined by senior first baseman T.D. Davis. Davis owns a .500 batting average with 11 RBI and three home runs. Right behind him is junior third baseman Ben Morgan with an impressive .385 average. Morgan has also stolen five bases in five attempts.

GSU as a whole is 13-16 on stolen bases this season, a number that Hennon will hope to exploit further against the Yellow Jackets. GT’s starting catcher, Zane Evans, has yet to catch a runner stealing this season.

Last weekend’s series against Indiana University was delayed due to weather conditions. For this series, there is a 100 percent chance of rain today but a zero percent chance of rain for Wednesday, according to The Weather Channel.

First pitch for both games is set for 7 p.m. and tonight is promoted to fans as ‘Nerd Night’ and tomorrow night will be ‘Greek Night.’