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Clemson next up for Eagles

    The top four slots in the Southern Conference baseball tournament are pretty much locked up.
    The last four slots are up for grabs primarily among five teams which, with two weekends left in the regular season, are separated by only 3.5 games.
    Georgia Southern (25-23, 13-14 SoCon) won't have a chance to improve its stock this weekend, as it gets set for a three-game, non-conference series against No. 25 Clemson.
    Meanwhile, the rest of the SoCon will be battling it out for a spot in the league's tournament.
    College of Charleston faces The Citadel, Samford faces Elon, UNC Greensboro faces Furman and Wofford plays Western Carolina.
    All of those games could effect the Eagles' chances at making the tournament — something they've never failed to do. 
    "It's not a lock," GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. "The bottom line is that if we win (the season-ending series at Charleston next weekend), we control our own destiny as far as that goes. We're not counting on any help from anybody else. We have not secured a spot and we have work to do."
    The Eages have had a week off from mid-week action and have been taking their finals. With the school year over, GSU's team can focus completely on baseball and the upcoming series with Clemson (34-15).
    "Getting school behind you, that's a big load off the shoulders now," Hennon said.
    Justin Hess will get the start for GSU today at 7 p.m.
    Jason Richman will get the call Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and a starter has not been announced for Sunday.
    Scooter Williams, who sat out five-straight games before returning to the lineup as a pinch hitter last Saturday against Furman, homered on Saturday and Sunday. They were his first home runs of the season.
    The Eagles lost the first two against Furman, but the bats came alive in the Sunday finale with 15 hits and 13 runs.
    Hennon said with all the parity in college baseball, he's less concerned with the bats and more focused on the Eagles' approach, regardless of the opponent.
    "One thing our team understands right now is that in college baseball, it doesn't matter who you play. If you show up, and you pitch, and you play good, fundamental baseball, that's the formula for winning," Hennon said. "There's an awful lot of parity right now, and those are the things, when we were playing our best, that we were doing."
    Clemson has had its success without a lot of power — the Tigers have hit only 15 home runs and bat at a .278 clip — but they're built around fundamentals.
    "They don't have a whole lot of power, but they'll run, they're athletic, they're solid on defense," Hennon said. "It's just another solid Clemson team."

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.