Seth Shuman throws Eagle Nation a curveball

Andrew Weimer

When Seth Shuman, lights out right-handed pitcher for the Georgia Southern baseball team, was drafted, but did not sign, in the 39th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, neither he, nor Eagle Nation, knew the impact that he would have on not one, but two, Georgia Southern sports.

Football career

The first semester of his freshman year, Shuman played quarterback for Georgia Southern’s football team.

Out of high school, according to 247, he was listed as a 2-star dual threat quarterback, having one offer from GS.

He saw action in four games as an Eagle, including one start, that ended in him completing 34 of 72 passes for 357 total yards and a touchdown. His best game was his start against Louisiana.

He completed 21 of 36 passes for 228 yards and his only career touchdown, which was thrown late in the first half to bring the game to within one point. In this game, Shuman led the team in both passing and rushing yards, finishing with a total of 251 yards.

Despite his success, Shuman decided not to return the following season to concentrate on baseball.

“I saw some potential being able to play the next level and went a different direction with the football team as far as offensive scheme wise and I just felt that it was the best decision to stick with baseball,” Shuman said.

Baseball career

After playing football, Shuman starred for the GS baseball team.

There, he posted an 8-0 record over 14 games, 9 starts, and 56.2 innings. He held batters to a .251 average and struck out 49.

For his efforts, he earned the title of Freshman All-American, given out annually by Collegiate Baseball News. He pitched 2 clutch innings in the tightly contested Sun Belt Tournament first round matchup against interestingly enough- Louisiana, earning the win in a one-hit, two-strikeout performance.

Shuman started his baseball career young. He comes from an athletic family, with his father a former collegiate baseball player, his brother a current professional player, and his sister a former collegiate softball player.

Shuman started in tee ball, where he progressed to coach pitch, then travel ball, middle school and then high school. He excelled in high school, playing at Valdosta High School, where he threw a no-hitter while posting a 1.53 ERA and a 5.33 strikeout to walk ratio defensively and .313 batting average offensively.

His overall performance rewarded him with region 1-6A Pitcher of the Year to go along with first-team all-region honors as an infielder.

While in high school, Shuman had what he describes as his most meaningful career moment.

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>"My senior year, we were in the playoffs, against one of our teammates actually, he played against us that game. We were down by 2 runs with two outs and I hit a grand slam to take the lead so that was pretty cool and we won the game," Shuman said.</p>” id=”deae925c-d03e-4878-88ce-1a222bbffe9e” style-type=”quote” title=”Pull quote” type=”relcontent”}}

Shuman first considered playing baseball for the Eagles when he talked to Coach B.J Green, the team’s pitching coach, before starting his senior season. He describes Green as “liking what he saw”, so now, he’s here.

During the season, Shuman was dominant, but he contributes most of his success to his teammates. He humbly credits most of his success to his teammates, where all he had to do was lock in, throw strikes consistently, and simply, play his game.

“I had a pretty solid defense behind me all year and we kept the game close so that our offense could get some runs, scratch off some runs each inning, but not doing too much, letting the team do most of the work, that’s what they’re here for. To field, hit and score runs,” Shuman said.

Most great baseball players have inspirations, and Seth’s happens to be his brother, Scott, who is a former collegiate pitcher at Auburn and a current professional pitcher in Australia.

After being drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 19th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Scott played minor league baseball until 2013, reaching double-A, and played independent and now plays overseas.

Shuman indicated that he would like to follow his brother’s footsteps, continuing to play after college, and over anything else, admires his brother for the toughness and drive that is instilled in him.

“He’s still playing as long as he can, he’s gone through some injuries but he’s overcome those, and I look up to him for being able to overcome those injuries,” Shuman said.

With the season not even having started for the sophomore, he is still putting in hard work every day. The big thing he is doing in the offseason is working on his mechanics and hitting the weight room.

With this combination, he looks to last longer in a game and add more velocity on his fastball so that hitters will have to be quicker when facing him, taking some of the pressure off of his defense.

He will be an integral part of the GS team that finished 38-21 last year, one win away from the regional portion of the College World Series. With all of his hard work put in during the offseason and his success from his freshman year, look out for Seth Shuman this year, as he will be looking to do big things for the Eagle Nation.