Eagles host Phoenix in a battle of the birds for a three game series

Ryan Kostensky

Georgia Southern baseball welcomes the arrival of the month of March, as old Southern Conference foe, Elon, travels to J.I. Clements Stadium for a weekend series that goes from March 2 through March 4.

Elon Phoenix (2-6):

At first glance, Elon’s record doesn’t look great, but don’t let that fool you.

The Phoenix have played games against Penn State, Kansas State, and a three-game series against Marshall, and taking out the last game of the Marshall series, each game has been close.

In their three-game series against Penn State, Elon lost all three games by a combined four runs.

They followed that series up with a 2-1 win over Radford, and then a 7-8 loss to Kansas State.

In the Marshall series, they dropped the first game by two runs, won the second game by a run, and then lost the rubbermatch by four, a game that took 11 wins to be decided.

Coming into Statesboro will be a tough test for the Phoenix, especially since it’s the team’s first road games of the 2018 season.

Led by junior infielder, Ryne Ogren, with a batting average of .345, while also providing a team-high 11 runs batted in, as well as sophomore infielder, Cam Devanney, who’s hitting .318 with two doubles and a home run, if Elon wants to upset Georgia Southern, they will have to be patient, and wait until the Eagles have to use their bullpen, which has struggled mightily.

When it comes to pitching, the Pheonix rely on sophomore starting pitcher, Kyle Brnovich, who is 1-0 in his first two starts with a 1.42 earned run average over 44 at bats.

If he matches up in a game with Georgia Southern ace, Seth Shuman, look for a classic pitching duel.

Georgia Southern Eagles (5-4):

After a 1-3 start against UGA and Georgia Tech, the Eagles are coming off a sweep of Fairfield, as well as games against the Citadel and the College of Charleston, and travel to the friendly confines of J.I. Clements Stadium.

During the Fairfield series, the Eagles outscored the Stags 19-11, while out-hitting them 27-18.

At the plate, Georgia Southern relies on a trio of sophomore infielders for a lot of their production. Steven Curry, leads the team with a .360 average, with Mitchell Golden close behind with a .345 average, and the team’s RBI leader (6) hitting .308.

If the Eagles want to win the series, they’re going to need a hot start, in order to get momentum on their side.

On the mound, Georgia Southern needs a solid start from Seth Shuman. The sophomore pitcher has an ERA of 3.46, but don’t let those numbers fool you as the Eagles are 2-0 this season when Shuman is on the mound.

Defensively, the team has played well, only coughing up 10 errors, and while it is still early, Georgia Southern needs to continue to limit that number as much as they can.

With the game being at home, they should be comfortable by the time first pitch runs around, and need to rely on what should be some good home crowds.

First pitch for game one is set at 6:30 p.m., game two’s time has been moved up to noon from its original time to allow fans to support both basketball teams as they play their final games of the season, and game three is set for 1 p.m.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne sports candidate, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu