After a week off since stepping out of conference at
Indiana, the Georgia Southern Baseball team returns to Southern Conference play at The Citadel this weekend. The three-game series gets underway on Friday at 6 p.m. and continues from Joe Riley Park, where the Eagles won the 2011 Southern Conference Tournament, at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
After going 7-2 in their last three SoCon series, Georgia Southern (23-19, 10-8) has dug itself out of eighth place and currently stands in a tie for fifth place with Western Carolina. The turnaround is part of a 10-4 April, their best month of the season, and has been fueled by great pitching. The pitching staff posted an ERA above five in both February and March, but holds a much better 3.51 ERA in the month of April.
The rotation solidified itself at the end of March against College of
Charleston, and Justin Hess has been a major part of the pitching staff's success since then. The junior right-hander leads the starting rotation with a 1-1 record and a 2.55 ERA in three quality starts in April. The bullpen also has settled down with Jarret Leverett and Kyle Rowe combining for six saves since March 30th.
The series is an important one for The Citadel (17-24, 7-11), who find themselves in seventh place after being swept by the College of Charleston last weekend. The Bulldogs are hitting just .256 as a squad and are led on offense by the catching tandem of Joe Jackson and Grant Richards. Jackson is hitting .289 with 12 doubles in 41 games this year while Grant Richards is hitting a team-best .294 in 15 starts.
The Bulldogs have struggled on the road this season but are a much better 15-10 at home. After a sweep at home last year, the Eagles hold a 38-34 all-time record but did drop five of six games before the sweep. The two teams also hold the distinction of being the last SoCon squads to make it to Omaha for the 1990 College World Series.