It could have been a lot worse.
The Georgia Southern Eagles came out of an eight-game road trip dropping a pair of Southern Conference weekend sets with UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State, but finished the road trip .500 and finally get a chance to play at home for the first time in 17 days.
"I can't think of many years where we play eight straight on the road, but that's kind of how the schedule fell," GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. "We have a stretch later on where we have two at home together with the mid-week games sandwiched in, so it all evens out."
The Eagles (21-11, 10-5 SoCon) face The Citadel (17-17, 6-6) in the first of a three-game series today at 6 p.m., at J.I. Clements Stadium.
The Bulldogs have lost five of their last six, but have averaged almost six runs per game in the stretch.
"They were a young team last year, and they're a much more seasoned group," Hennon said. "They're explosive."
Even with the recent slump — GSU is 3-4 since an eight-game winning streak that ended on March 29 at Greensboro — Hennon has been pleased with the team's effort.
"It's the name of the game," he said. "We've got to pitch, play defense and do the little things on the offensive side. People probably get tired of me saying that over the years, but that's baseball. You do those things, you get that timely hit, and you usually give yourselves a chance to win."
With the GSU football team playing its spring scrimmage on Saturday, Hennon expects a big crowd for the weekend's series — something that's been missing during the extended road trip.
"I think it always helps when you get a lot of people out at the ballpark at home," he said. "Our guys feed off that a little bit. It looks like we're going to have good weather, knock on wood, from Friday night on. Hopefully we'll get some good crowds, but whether that happens or not, we've got to get excited about the opportunity we have to compete against a very good baseball team."
Saturday's game is scheduled for 5 p.m., and the series will wrap up Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.