In case you missed it: Summer sports rundown

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  • Senior Logan Baldwin and graduate C.J. Brazil celebrate after a run against UGA last season. Baldwin was drafted this summer by the San Francisco Giants.

Thomas Jilk

Summertime in Statesboro means less students around, but no less news out of the Georgia Southern athletic department. Below are some key events that happened this summer that are necessary for you to be up to speed on the state of Georgia Southern athletics.

Clements Craziness

In late May, the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament was set to begin on the Eagles’ home field at J.I. Clements Stadium. However, summer showers persisted through the first two days and forced the tournament into a shortened, single-elimination format.

After the Eagles advanced to the final in thrilling fashion, they fell 7-6 at the hands of the talented South Alabama Jaguars. Read the full tournament recap here.

Former Pirates Hired

Beginning in early June, the university hired several coaches and its new deputy athletic director from Armstrong State. Lisa Sweany, former Armstrong State athletic director, was hired on June 2 and led the way for a flurry of Armstrong folks to be hired into the athletic department.

Others hired from Armstrong State included head softball coach Kim Dean, her assistant Megen Conner and head women’s tennis coach Sean McCaffrey.

With the consolidation ongoing, Georgia Southern athletic director Tom Kleinlein insisted that “the misnomer that’s out there is they were hired because of the consolidation. We had openings in our athletic department.”

Five Eagles Drafted

In the mid-June MLB draft, two Eagles were selected on day one and three more on day two. First off the board was fiery senior relief pitcher Landon Hughes.

Following Hughes were outfielder Jordan Wren (10th round – Red Sox), left-handed pitcher Connor Simmons (13th round – Braves), outfielder Logan Baldwin (21st round – Giants), and right-handed pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan (32nd round – Blue Jays).

Contract Controversy

On July 5, USA Today first reported that Georgia Southern’s co-offensive coordinators for the 2016 football season – David Dean and Rance Gillespie – were suing Georgia Southern.

They alleged that the university athletic department, athletic foundation, and coach Tyson Summers conspired to keep secret the fact that Dean and Gillespie’s original contracts were never signed and verified by the Board of Regents or the athletic foundation. The George-Anne broke down the lawsuits and the controversy here.

Shuman to focus on Baseball

Seth Shuman, who started a nationally televised game at quarterback for the Eagles last season, announced he would quit football to focus on baseball. The sophomore was a standout pitcher his first season on the mound in Statesboro, going 8-0 in his nine starts with a 3.34 ERA.

The Eagles are likely to return to a run-dominated option offense, making the speedier Shai Werts a more dynamic quarterback for the Eagles’ system. This potentially prompted Shuman to zone in on the baseball diamond rather than the football field.

Football Facts

Along with the game times and broadcast stations, the times for preseason practices and fan events were announced.

The season will feature a September 2 opener against SEC powerhouse Auburn and a ESPN2 Wednesday rematch against Arkansas State, which this year will be at Paulson Stadium.