Georgia Southern first baseman Kyle Blackburn, a senior, was named First Team All-Southern Conference, as voted upon by the league’s head coaches. The Southern Conference office announced the selections on Monday.
Sophomore shortstop Eric Phillips and junior outfielder Shawn Payne were named to the second team. Michael Burruss and Arthur Owens were named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team.
Leading the team in five offensive categories, Blackburn enters the SoCon Tournament carrying a .349 batting average. He leads the team in home runs (17), RBI (74), total bases (143), walks (45) and slugging percentage (.665). For his performance during the week of May 20, Blackburn was selected as the SoCon Player of the Week and CollegeBaseballInsider.com’s Southeast National Player of the Week.
His slugging percentage ranks fifth in the SoCon, while his RBI total places him third in the league and his home run count is second-best. Blackburn ties for the team-lead in doubles with 17 and has started all 56 games at either first base or designated hitter.
Earning second team recognition at shortstop, Phillips leads the team in hitting with a .355 batting average. The sophomore has tallied 44 runs scored, 83 hits, 15 doubles, seven home runs and 56 RBI on the season. He has 16 walks to 13 strikeouts in 234 at-bats. Phillips earned All-Freshman honors last season.
Joining Phillips on the second team is newcomer Payne, who has compiled a .977 fielding percentage in centerfield. The junior owns a .343 batting average with 66 runs scored (team best), 15 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBI. He leads the team in stolen bases with 43 in 45 attempts. Payne was not caught stealing until the Davidson series in mid-May. In the latest NCAA national rankings, Payne was third in the nation in stolen bases.
Burruss, a redshirt freshman, has started 42 contests this season either as designated hitter or catcher. He has scored 32 times and driven in 26 runs while batting .324. In 173 at-bats, Burruss has tallied 12 doubles, one triple and one home run.
Owens has played in all 56 games, starting 55. The freshman has a .312 batting average with nine doubles, one triple, 30 RBI and 41 runs scored in 205 at-bats. He has floated between left field and right field with a .962 fielding percentage.
The third-seeded Eagles (34-22) open 2010 Southern Conference Tournament play this week against the sixth-seeded Western Carolina Catamounts. The conference foes take Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C. on Wednesday, May 26 at 1 p.m. in first round action.
Two Eagles receive leadership awards
Georgia Southern student-athletes Logan Blondell and Caroline Bevillard were selected for the Coleman Lew Leadership Award representing Georgia Southern. Blondell, a junior golfer from Lakeland, Fla., led the Eagles Golf Team to the NCAA Championships after it tied for fourth at the Southeast Regional last weekend. Blondell finished second overall with a 2-under 208. He earned Southern Conference Player of the Year honors last season, after earning the conference's Freshman of the Year award in 2008.
Bevillard, a junior swimmer from Bishop, Ga., holds the school record in the 200-yard freestyle event and is a member of all three University record-setting free relay teams. She was named to the ESPN The Magazine All-Academic second team this spring, and has been named to the President's List (4.0 GPA) five times in six semesters. She also earned All-Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association honors as freshman.
Lady Eagles Basketball camps
Georgia Southern women’s basketball coach Rusty Cram, along with his staff of Regina days-Bryan, Mary Perry and Jessica Harris and a number of current and former Eagles will host a series of basketball camps beginning June 1 at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Boys and girls kindergarten through sixth grade can participate in the Day Camp for boys and Girls running June 1-4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost per camper is $100, which includes individual awards and a camp T-shirt.
A Team Camp will run June 7-10, and costs $200 per team.
A Girls Individual Camp will run from June 24-26. Cost for commuters is $125 and cost for overnight campers is $200.
For more information on any of the Lady Eagle basketball camps, contact Jessica Harris at (912) 478-1486.
Portal golf tournament
PORTAL — On Friday, June 4, Portal Middle/High school will be hosting a four-man scramble golf tournament at Willow Bend Golf Course in Metter.
The tournament will begin at noon with a shotgun start.
All proceeds from the event will go towards the Portal athletic department as it strives to complete the weight room for the new school opening this fall.
The entry fee for each team member is $60 and includes a lunch.
For individuals or businesses interested in advertising at the tournament, holes may be sponsored for $200 per hole.
For more information, please contact Portal football coach Cherard Freeman at (912) 536-1057.