Things started the right way last weekend against Western Carolina, but the end to the series didn’t quite go according to plan for Georgia Southern.
After a four-hour rain delay Saturday, WCU was the team showing up ready to play, handing the Eagles (22-19, 13-8 Southern Conference) an 11-3 loss. Game three was even more of a letdown, as the Eagles took an 11-8 lead into the ninth on the strength of a Victor Roache grand slam, but allowed six runs in the final inning to concede only their second Southern Conference series of the season.
“He’s obviously gotten better as the season’s gone along, and that’s what you hope for, especially with young players like him,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon about Roache. “The big thing is he’s gotten more comfortable.”
The pitching was another story.
As it went after the three-game sweep by Charleston April 2-4, the pitching staff is on notice. Freshman Chris Meyers, who has put together a 6.00 ERA through 6 innings in three appearances this season, will get his first start today.
“We’re looking for somebody to step up on that pitching staff, and I think he’s deserving of a start,” Hennon said. “We’re going to use several guys, but we felt like he deserved the opportunity to go out there and start the game, and hopefully he can go out there and get us off to a good start.”
Last time the Eagles dropped a conference series, the pitchers went on a tear. The following weekend – after shaking off the dust of a 10-3 loss to Elon – the staff allowed only 11 runs over the next four games to spark a six-game winning streak which was abruptly put to an end at Georgia Tech.
Georgia Southern has a chance to get its focus back today as it hosts a Kennesaw State team that fell 8-7 to the Eagles back in March.
“I think (Sunday) was definitely a jolt of reality, and our guys are going to have to respond,” Hennon said. “We’ve got to get better and obviously you want to start every week on a positive note, and after a tough two losses to finish up the weekend, we’ve got to get some momentum back on our side.”
First pitch at J.I. Clements Stadium against the Owls (18-22) is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.