It’s all about the little things.
Georgia Southern’s bats came alive in Saturday’s 7-4 win in the Southern Conference opening series against Elon, but that wasn’t the case in the decisive Friday and Sunday games in which the Eagles were beaten 1-0 and 4-2 to drop the series.
Georgia Southern (16-4) saw its batting average drop from a nation’s best .345 to .327 against Elon.
It won’t get any easier, with No. 17 Clemson (12-6) coming to town for a two-game set beginning today at 6 p.m., at J.I. Clements Stadium.
“We talk all the time about the importance of the little things,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said, “and when you’re in a close ballgame like we were all three games (at Elon), you see how important those things are — situational hitting, little things on the bases or making a pitch — and I think we saw that this weekend. Especially on Sunday, we had some opportunities to take control of the game and we failed to get some runners in from third base.”
Elon has done it all year with pitching, while Clemson has put up bigger offensive numbers, hitting .306 as a team.
The Eagles were swept in three games last season by the Tigers, and were outscored 25-7 in the series.
“They’re very athletic,” Hennon said. “A lot of the guys who were in the lineup last year are back. They’ll do some things to try to pressure the defense.”
The series against Elon served as a learning experience for GSU, which won eight straight against lesser competition heading into the SoCon opener.
“We’ll be better from it. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Hennon said. “We both played pretty well, obviously we struggled a little bit more to score. We’ll pick ourselves up and get ready for a good Clemson team coming in here.”
No starter has been announced for Wednesday’s game against Clemson, but Ryan Frederick (1-0) will get the nod today.
Frederick has thrown 15.2 innings in four starts, striking out 14 and walking six.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.