Junior college transfer belongs at GSU

Layne Saliba

The Georgia Southern baseball team is off to an impressive start on the diamond this season. However, after some key players graduated or transferred during the offseason, the Eagles had to bring in some new talent. One of those new faces on the field is junior 3B Spencer Duffie.

Duffie began his career at a young 4-years-old striking out on the tee, thinking he wasn’t good enough to play baseball. So, he tried his hand at other sports like basketball and football but never gave up on baseball.

“I grew up watching my uncle play baseball. He played at Georgia Southern and I always looked up to him,” Duffie said. “Baseball is something I just fell in love with.”

Duffie hit .411 while at Greenbrier High School and was named All-County three times over the four years he played there.

He was not widely recruited out of high school and also made the process a little stressful on himself by signing late, after his senior year was over to be exact. Nevertheless, that did not stop him from continuing to do what he loved.

Duffie came out of high school and played two seasons of Junior College ball at Middle Georgia College. He racked up an impressive sophomore season by hitting .418 with three home runs and 48 RBIs. He also scored 48 runs while hitting 16 doubles, three triples and stealing 18 bases. Duffie walked a total of 33 times to post a .509 on base percentage as well.

“Middle Georgia was great. I definitely enjoyed it,” Duffie said. “Junior College is different though. It wasn’t nearly as nice as what we have here but we enjoyed it and made it fun.”

Nevertheless, Duffie knew he belonged somewhere else. Junior College was something that helped him develop as a player and helped him grow accustomed to college baseball. However, he wanted more. Therefore, as soon as he got the chance to play at Georgia Southern, he did not hesitate.

He has always wanted to play in Statesboro. His uncle, Mark Hamlin, is the one he watched as he was growing up and the one who inspired him to play baseball in the first place. Hamlin played for the Eagles after passing up a spot on the St. Louis Cardinals roster as the 26th round draft pick out of high school.

“Honestly I always wanted to play here, so that worked out well,” Duffie said.

He knew the program at Georgia Southern was one of high caliber, but he did not know what it would be like to play on the team. He had only seen the stadium and been around the campus and city. As soon as he arrived however, he knew he had made the right decision.

“It’s been great. Not just the program, but the atmosphere,” Duffie said. “My teammates are awesome and the coaches are great. We have a great time and we work hard.”

He has started in 12 games this season and has made sure Eagle Nation knows his name. He has posted a .268 batting average thus far while scoring nine runs and recording 11 hits.

It is only the beginning of the season and Duffie has not had much experience with this team. However, the one thing he does know is that he wants to help the Eagles have a successful season. He is not only thinking of a winning record, he wants more – even if a little bit of the passion comes out of jealousy.

“I just want to win a championship like they did last year. I want a ring. They always flash their rings around so I want one now,” Duffie said.

There has been a lot of change in Duffie’s baseball career, but he has not had much trouble with it. All the changes may be difficult for some athletes, but Duffie has not had a problem adjusting. He is where he wants to be and where he is supposed to be.

“No matter where you’re playing you’re working together to win. It’s a different atmosphere here, but the change wasn’t too bad. I think I fit in well,” Duffie said.