Previewing the 2021 Georgia Southern baseball season

After a shortened 2020 season, the Eagles have unlimited potential in 2021


DJ Cadden, Correspondent

After completing a monumental sweep of Georgia, who was No. 3 in the nation at the time, the sports world came to a stop, leaving the Eagle baseball team with a final record of 11-5.

Luckily, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, every athlete was granted an extra year of eligibility in 2021. Thanks to the NCAA’s ruling, the Eagles return every player who saw the field last season.

In addition, the Eagles added a plethora of talented recruits such as shortstop Jaylen Paden, pitchers Ben Johnson and Anthony DiMola and others who could have an immediate impact for coach Rodney Hennon’s team.

Mitchell Golden, Matt Anderson, and Mason McWhorter will once again look to lead the offense as they were the only players to bat over .300 in 2020. While the Eagles averaged over six runs last season, this number was skewed by a handful of offensive explosions. If Hennon’s team wants to compete for a championship in 2021, the offense must be more consistent.

While the offense was unpredictable, the Eagle defense was among the best in America. Hennon’s team ranked No. 5 in the nation in fielding percentage and was No. 10 in earned run average (ERA). If the defense continues at this rate in 2021, GS has the potential to be a national threat.

As far as the schedule goes, GS has built a strong one in 2021. The Eagles open the season with a series in Statesboro against the Tennessee Volunteers, who are currently ranked as the No. 19 team in the nation.

Tennessee is one of three preseason top-25 teams that GS is slated to play in 2021. The Eagles will host No. 25, East Carolina, for a three game series and will play a single game at No. 15, Georgia Tech.

Despite only three ranked teams being on the schedule, the schedule does not get much easier for the Eagles. Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma are on the GS schedule and were all ranked when the 2020 season came to a halt. In addition Mercer (13-3 in 2020) and College of Charleston (12-2) are not teams to be taken lightly either.

One thing that comes along with playing a tough schedule is facing some of the country’s top prospects. In 2021, the Eagles are currently slated to face eight players who are currently ranked in D1Baseball’s top-100 college draft prospects.

Looking ahead, the 2021 baseball season should be one of the best in Georgia Southern history. Hennon could easily lead this talented Eagles team to just the fourth 40-win season in program history.

As far as postseason aspirations, the Eagles should be a tournament lock. It is bold, but the 2021 Georgia Southern baseball team is a talented team that may find themselves playing in the program’s first ever Super Regional and maybe even find themselves in Omaha for the College World Series if things go their way.