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Around the Peach State: Bravos, GSU and the superstation

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Posted: April 3, 2008 10:22 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    Sporting notes compiled while happily watching the Braves batter the Pirates bullpen Wednesday night:
— It was great to see starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (or JJ, as Bobby Cox calls him) shine in his Atlanta debut Wednesday. I’m glad we got him from the Tigers.
— But you have to wonder: Is JJ that good or is the Pirates offense just that bad? Having watched more Pirates spring training games than I cared to see, I suspect a little bit of both.
— Can you believe the kid is just 22 years old?
— Did you know JJ is the first pitcher from his native Curacao to reach the major leagues? Pretty cool.
— I’m still not happy about TBS ending its three-decade tradition of televising Braves games nationally. Beginning this season, 45 games will be broadcast on Peachtree TV, which is available only in the 55-county metro Atlanta area. Basically, it doesn’t do us any good.
— The rest of the games will be available on SportSouth or FSN South. I’d be better off if I could enjoy all 162 regular-season games. After all, the Braves are the only reason I pay the cable bill.
— Mark Teixeira made his first home trot of the season Wednesday.
— Speaking of Teixeira, I highly recommend you watch the YouTube tribute a couple of Auburn students put together after the Braves acquired him last season. If you’ve seen it already, watch it again. It’s awesome. Here’s the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDHjGrbXiD4

Let’s talk Eagles
— The football Eagles didn’t practice Thursday morning because of all the rain. They’ll hit the fields in full pads this morning and workout four times next week leading up to the April 12 Blue/White game.
— Senior Dakota Walker moved back to defensive end after starting the spring at linebacker. He proved he could excel up front after a mid-season position change last fall, and the Eagles hope his progress continues.
— Moving on to baseball, congrats to outfielder Chris Shehan, the Southern Conference’s March athlete of the month for baseball. The junior leads the Eagles’ high-powered offense in batting average (.449), runs scored (36), doubles (9), home runs (10), RBI (42), slugging percentage (.832), on-base percentage (.563) and walks (24). 
— After a 7-6 home loss to Kennesaw State Wednesday, the diamond Eagles (16-11, 4-2) resume SoCon play this weekend at Elon (22-7, 7-2).
— Elon boasts the league’s best RPI (42), while GSU is tied with The Citadel for the SoCon’s fifth-best RPI (80).
— Looks like Kyle Kamppi will remain in the starting rotation this weekend. The junior is slated to take the mound for the second-straight Saturday, an interesting twist after entering the season as the team’s closer.
— Perhaps the best surprise out of GSU’s bullpen so far has been Blake Nation, who was used sparingly prior to this spring. The 6-foot-8 junior picked up his fourth save this season (and of his career) in Tuesday’s win at North Florida.
— The Eagles were also glad to see true freshman Michael Hester win his first collegiate start against UNF. With the NCAA mandated late-start date resulting in a compacted schedule, college baseball teams need all the pitching they can get.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.
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