Georgia Southern (7-1) at Mercer (9-0)
4 p.m., 103.7 FM/106.5 FM
Southern Conference Baseball Standings
Team SoCon All Stk GB
Georgia Southern 0-0 7-1 W-6 -
Elon 0-0 6-1 W-4 -
Wofford 0-0 5-3 W-5 -
Western Carolina 0-0 4-2 W-3 -
Davidson 0-0 2-3 L-1 -
Furman 0-0 3-5 L-4 -
The Citadel 0-0 3-5 W-1 -
Samford 0-0 2-4 L-1 -
UNC Greensboro 0-0 2-4 W-1 -
Appalachian State 0-0 0-8 L-8 -
#8 N.C. State 7, Davidson 5
#21 North Carolina 12, Appalachian State 1
Georgia 6, Furman 4
The Citadel 4, Rhode Island 3
Elon 3, UNC Wilmington 2
UNC Greensboro 11, Wake Forest 10 (10in.)
Wofford 10, Charleston Southern 4
Elon at North Carolina A&T, 3 p.m.
Georgia Southern at Mercer, 4 p.m.
High Point at UNC Greensboro, 4 p.m.
UAB at Samford, 4 p.m.
Charlotte at The Citadel, 5 p.m.
You probably wouldn’t have guessed it before the season started, but on paper, today’s game between Georgia Southern and Mercer in Macon may be a matchup between the best teams in the state.
Georgia Southern (7-1) has taken two of three against Georgia and beat Georgia Tech in a mid-week game, and Mercer (9-0) has hardly been tested through the first two weeks of the season.
The only other Division I teams in the state with a winning record are Georgia State (4-3) and Kennesaw State (6-4). UGA (2-5) and Tech (4-4) started slow.
“They’ll probably be one of the more experienced teams we’ll see all year,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said about Mercer. “There are a lot of juniors and seniors on that team who have had success there. It’s a good, solid lineup top to bottom.”
The Bears have had plenty of success over the Eagles the last several years. Mercer is 3-1 against GSU since 2011.
Junior Will Middour will get the start, his first of the year, after serving a two-week suspension for a “violation of team rules.”
Middour did not pitch in 2013. He sat out the season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The Eagles suffered a few dings in last weekend’s series against Maryland-Eastern Shore. Kody Adams, Josh Black and Aaron Mizell all missed innings with minor injuries.
Black and Mizell are available against Mercer.
“Adams is still kind of day-to-day, doubtful for Wednesday,” Hennon said. “Probably Friday or Saturday. Nothing serious with any of those guys.”
First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
Georgia Southern is coming off a four-game sweep of UMES. The Eagles outscored the Hawks 50-7 in the series. The only lull came in the first inning of the second game, after a 23-0 win in the opener. Costly GSU errors gave UMES an early 2-0 lead.
“We were a little bit sloppy in the first inning and we got down,” Hennon said. “Sometimes you’ll see teams come in and really press, and the next thing you know it’s the sixth or seventh inning and you’re down a run or two. I thought we stayed with a good approach, and we stayed pretty focused the remainder of the series.”
The Eagles currently rank at the top of the Southern Conference in batting average (.359), slugging percentage (.567), on base percentage (.415), runs (84), hits (107), RBIs (80), doubles (24), home runs (12) and are second in the conference in earned-run average with a team ERA of 2.66.
A year ago only seven GSU players hit a home run. Eight Eagles have already gone yard this season.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.