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Eagles in search of solid finish at App

The Georgia Southern Eagles have three more games before next week’s Southern Conference baseball tournament.

They face Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. starting today at 6 p.m., and they enter the series looking to build on a four-game winning streak.

The Eagles (31-21, 17-10 SoCon) trailed early in each of the last four wins, and had to dig all the way out of a 9-1 hole at Charleston Southern Tuesday, scoring 13 unanswered runs on the way to an eventual 14-9 win.

They trailed Davidson 2-0 in each of the last two games of that three-game sweep before taking both games, 5-2.

"Being able to win games like we have, especially the last two [against Davidson] when we scored five runs," said GSU coach Rodney Hennon, "I think it’s important for us and it gives you some confidence when you win games like that."

Victor Roache was a big reason for the comeback at CSU, hitting a grand slam and a three-run shot to tie the single-season GSU home run record with 27 in 2011. He tied Ben Abner, who hit 27 in 1984.

The series against ASU (29-24, 13-14) also marks the final regular-season series for seniors Andy Moye, Steve Cochrane and Shawn Payne, who are looking for momentum heading into the postseason.

"Being aggressive and playing the game the right way, that’s going to be big for us," said Cochrane. "Baseball’s one of those things — we had a rough stretch there starting with UNCG, that’s the game — and we know that. We think we’re back on track where we need to be mentally and physically out there in the field."

Moye is slated to start Friday in Game 2 against the Mountaineers, and Chris Beck will start today’s opener. Saturday will be a game-time decision taking into consideration the SoCon Tournament beginning next Wednesday.

Matt Murray is a possibility for Saturday. He served as a long closer throughout the season until getting his first start Monday against Davidson.

"We’ll throw the first two guys. We won’t change anything there with Beck and Andy," Hennon said. "We’re going to look at how we want to use Murray this weekend. You’ve got to play to win the next game, but at the same time, you don’t want to go into the tournament with a bunch of tired arms. We’ve got to kind of weigh both sides a little bit, and we’ll try to make some good decisions."

If the tournament started today, GSU would receive the No. 3 seed by virtue of its tiebreaker over College of Charleston. Depending on the outcomes of this weekend’s SoCon games, the Eagles could finish anywhere from second to fifth.


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