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Eagles look to keep up hot early pace
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Georgia Southern second baseman Ben Morgan turns a double play in Saturday's win over Holy Cross at J.I. Clements Stadium. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff



    Georgia Southern’s current seven-game winning streak is a good reason to be confident.
    The fact that the Eagles committed six errors on Sunday against Holy Cross and still won, taking the game 9-8 and completing a four-game sweep over the Crusaders, may even validate that confidence.
    “Obviously we were sloppy,” GSU coach Rodney Hennon said about Sunday’s game, “but the fact that you can have a game where you commit six errors and still find a way to win, you feel good about that. We’ll improve on the mistakes we’ve made this week.”
    The Eagles (14-2) begin the week at 6 p.m., today, at J.I. Clements Stadium against North Florida. The Ospreys (6-7) have had a rough start to the season with five games either postponed or cancelled due to weather.
    UNF has had its share of success against the Eagles of late, winning five of six dating back to 2011.
    “North Florida is a good team and they've gotten the best of us really the last couple years. It’s always been a competitive series and we're going to have to come out and play better baseball than we did on Sunday,” Hennon said.
    Georgia Southern’s 14-2 start matches the program’s best start since 2009. The Eagles are tearing the cover off the ball, batting a collective .345 with 23 homers, including six by junior-college transfer shortstop Aaron Mizell and five by senior Stryker Brown.
    The team has 153 runs and 199 hits through 16 games.
    The team ERA is currently 2.58.
    “I think we’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, but we understand there’s a long way to go,” Hennon said. “We’ve got to keep getting better every week, and we’re coming up on some of the best teams on our schedule.”
    After facing UNF, the Eagles will open Southern Conference play on the road against Elon (10-5) with a three-game series beginning Friday. Clemson (9-5) will visit for a pair of midweek games the following Tuesday and Wednesday.
    Tonight’s game will match GSU righty Eric Alonzo (1-0, 1.00 ERA, 9 IP) against the Ospreys’ Bryan Baker (0-0, 6.36 ERA).
    The Eagles have a lot of options on the infield with the appearance of freshman Aaron Palmer, who played for the first time Saturday after serving an offseason suspension. Palmer was 2-for-6 with a pair of walks in starts on Saturday and Sunday. He, Garrett Chapman and Ben Morgan look to each be potential starters at third or second base.
    “We feel good about any combination we put out there with those guys,” Hennon said. “I’ve talked a lot to the team about how each day it could be a different guy.”

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