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Eagles building on momentum

Georgia Southern had a bad week, so coach Rodney Hennon shook things up Sunday in Game 3 against Samford.

The Eagles dropped two to Georgia Tech and two to Samford before responding with a 9-2 win to save the sweep and pick up some momentum heading into this week, and they did it with a new look on offense.

Michael Burruss led off for the first time in his career, and that wasn’t the only change.

"Shawn [Payne] struggled a little bit over the weekend, so we put him in the six hole, took him out of the leadoff spot. Sometimes I think you’ve got to do that, take some pressure off," said Hennon. "Arthur Owens was in the lineup, and we put him in the two hole. We just wanted to see some guys up top put the ball in play a little more consistently and put a little more pressure on [Samford’s] defense."

The Eagles (12-9, 4-2 Southern Conference) suffered narrow losses in the openers against Georgia Tech and Samford, and followed both up with games that got away early.

A grand slam by Victor Roache Sunday sprung open an 11-hit game for the GSU offense and helped snap the four-game losing streak..

"Any time you lose four in a row like that, it’s easy for guys to start doubting themselves a little bit. You can’t do that. That’s baseball," said Hennon. "Everybody’s going to have a stretch throughout the season where maybe you don’t play well or you don’t make a lot of brakes for yourselves, and I think that’s kind of where we were last week. To come back Sunday and salvage that game, I thought was big to keep us at 4-2 in the league and give us a little momentum this week.

"It was a tough week, and I was proud of the way they bounced back."

Today, the Eagles host Kennesaw State (14-8, 7-2 Atlantic Sun), which is coming off a 12-8 win over Georgia and a three-game sweep of Lipscomb.

The Eagles will start Josh Adams (4-2), who took the Game 2 loss against Samford Saturday.

Adams will be on a pitch count, and Hennon expects several pitchers to see time on the mound.

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Eagles return to SoCon play Friday for the first of three at Charleston.


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