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Eagles hope to tune it up heading into final stretch

    For the first time this season, Georgia Southern has its destiny in its own hands.
    The Eagles took two out of three from Elon over the weekend, taking a one-game lead over the Phoenix — who have played three more conference games than GSU — in the loss column.
    For the Eagles (24-16, 13-5 SoCon), there’s still a long way to go.
    “We’re in a situation where we don’t have to count on anyone else to help us, and that’s where you want to be,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “It’s just a matter of us continuing to get better. We’ve got things we need to continue to improve upon from the [Elon series]. Offensively, we had a lot of situations where we had runners on third and less than two outs where we could have scored more runs. We got away with it on Friday and Saturday, and it came back to bite us on Sunday.”
    In the three-game set, Georgia Southern stranded 26 runners, including seven in Sunday’s 9-0 loss.
    Hitting has been consistent throughout the season for GSU, which leads the Southern Conference with a .305 batting average, but the Eagles are in the middle of the pack on the mound. The team ERA is 4.35. Only three pitchers have held their roles throughout the season.
    Chris Beck, who has started every Friday contest, leads the team in wins (6) and strikeouts (62). Andy Moye, who has moved from the Sunday starter to Saturday, leads the starters with a 2.30 ERA.
    Matt Murray has been the closer all season. He has allowed only four earned runs in 41 innings and leads the SoCon with a 0.88 ERA.
    The Eagles face Kennesaw State (24-19) today at 4 p.m. The game was bumped from a 6 p.m. start due to the threat of stormy weather.
    The probable starter for the Eagles will be freshman Will Middour (2-1, 6.38 ERA), but Hennon expects to get looks at a number of pitchers.
    “We’ve been pretty consistent in those Friday and Saturday slots, and it’s going to be important here as we head down the stretch to get somebody to step up and give us some more consistency in that Sunday slot,” said Hennon. “In the Kennesaw game, our plan is to run a lot of guys out there — kind of whole-staff it — and I think it’s a great opportunity for some of those guys to maybe earn more innings on the weekends.”

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

Southern Conference Standings
Team    SoCon    All    Streak    GB

Elon      15-6    26-17    L1    —
Ga. Southern      13-5    24-16    L1    0.5
Charleston      11-7    27-15    W4    2.5
UNC Greensboro      11-7    21-17    W2    2.5
Samford      12-9    2517    W1    3
Appalachian St.      10-11    25-18    L1    5
Furman      9-11    19-24    L6    5.5
The Citadel      8-13    16-24    W1    7
Wofford      6-12    19-22    L2    7.5
W. Carolina      7-14    17-20    W3    8
Davidson      8-15    16-22    L7    8

Tuesday's Results
    Radford 3 , Appalachian St. 1        Clemson 5, Furman 0
    W. Carolina 6, High Point 2
    Samford 8, Auburn 0
    Wake Forest 13, Elon 4
    Davidson at N.C. Central, late.