Eagles look to dominate the diamond this season with young, but experienced team

The season begins with a series in Athens, GA against UGA. 

Andrew Weimer

With the loss of 5 key starters and 7 key pitchers, this Georgia Southern men’s baseball team is looking a lot different.

Last year, GS finished 5th in the Sun Belt during regular season play, however, they surprised the conference when they finished runner-up in the Sun Belt Tournament, losing a heartbreaker in the 10th inning of the Championship game.

This year, the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll has the Eagles ranked at 6th out of 12.

Last year, GS finished with an overall record of 38-21 with a conference record of 18-12. As a team, they hit .278 and hit 44 homers over a total of 59 games. As for their pitching staff, they finished with a 4.10 earned run average over a total 529.1 innings.

Key Players Returning

With only four seniors on the 2018 roster, Coach Rodney Hennon is going to be relying on the returning of several strong underclassmen.

Headlining the returning position players is sophomore second baseman, Steven Curry. Last year, he had a team high batting average(.312), runs scored(48), hits(73), and on base percentage(.426).

Also returning for the Eagles are junior, Tyler Martin, and sophomore, Mason McWhorter. Both of these players were big bats for the Eagles last season.

Martin posted an overall .291 average while hitting 9 home runs and knocking in 43, earning him a spot on the All-Sun Belt team as a designated hitter.

McWhorter hit at a .296 average, starting in 54 games and co-lead the team in doubles with 13.

On the mound, sophomore starting pitcher, Seth Shuman is set to continue his success.

Last year, he went a perfect 8-0 with a 3.34 ERA while being added to the Collegiate Baseball News Freshman All-American list as well as the 2018 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team.

The other key pitchers returning are junior starting pitchers Brian Eichorn and Chase Cohen.

Eichorn started in 12 games for the Eagles and relieved in 4, having an ERA of 4.33. He pitched a total of 68.2 innings, striking out 70 while only walking 21 and giving up 5 dingers.

Cohen started in 16 games and had one relief appearance. He posted an ERA of 4.81, striking out a total of 77 batters while only giving up 7 home runs. He led the team in innings pitched with 73.

Season Breakdown

This season will consist of 56 regular season games and then the Sun Belt Tournament, beginning on May 22.

The Eagles’ first game begins on Friday, February 16 at 5 PM against the University of Georgia as part of a three-game weekend series.

The team’s first home game will be this upcoming Tuesday against Georgia Tech.