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Eagles face off with Spartans
gsu baseball

            It’s easy to scout another team when you play a head-to-head matchup.

            Unfortunately, as Georgia Southern gets set for game one of a three-game series today against UNC Greensboro, there’s not too much to go on.

            The teams met only once last season – an 11-6 GSU victory on March 15, 2009. The other two were rained out.

            “One thing that I think is a little odd about this series is, you look back a year ago and we only saw each other one game,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “Two of the three pitchers we saw up there are no longer with their program. Some of the younger players we don’t have as much history with as the other teams in the league.”

            The Spartans (11-9, 0-3 Southern Conference) enter today’s 7 p.m. matchup at J.I. Clements Stadium on a four-game losing streak, having dropped their conference-opening, three-game series against Charleston a weekend ago and a mid-week game against North Carolina Tuesday, which they lost 4-3.

            For the first time this season, the Eagles (11-11, 4-2) played only one mid-week game – an 8-5, 13-inning loss to No. 21 South Carolina Tuesday.

            Although they went through six pitchers, including two innings from today’s starter Jake Brown, the extra day’s rest is something new for GSU pitching heading into SoCon play. Matt Murray (2-1, 6.38 ERA, 26 K) will start Saturday, and Andy Moye, who got just his second start of the season in Sunday’s 11-2 win over Wofford, will again close out the series for GSU.

            Despite the result of Tuesday’s bout with the Gamecocks, Hennon likes the competitive approach taken by the team over the last week.

            “I’m not into moral victories,” Hennon said, “but again, I feel like if we can compete like that day in and day out, I feel good about what can happen for this team.

            “We did everything we could to try and win (the South Carolina) game. I felt like we owed that to our team. We rode (relief pitcher) Colin Snow (4.2 IP, 2 K, 3 ER) probably more than we normally would in a situation like that. I was certainly proud of his effort. Our whole team, I thought they competed. The things I was looking for from our guys I saw on Tuesday night in terms of the way we played and competed from start to finish, I saw. If we get to where we’re doing that on a consistent basic, I think we’ll continue to improve.”

            Centerfielder Shawn Payne, hitting .291 with five doubles and 22 runs scored on the season, has been day to day since a shoulder injury last week. He entered the USC game as a pinch hitter, but remains doubtful heading into the Greensboro series.


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