The Georgia Southern baseball team snapped a three-game losing streak by taking two out of three games this past weekend against Appalachian State. The wins evened up the Eagles Sun Belt record at 3-3 and head coach Rodney Hennon feels like the Eagles are moving in the right direction.
The Eagles won a pitcher's duel on Monday as Tyler Owens allowed only one unearned run over six innings and got three shutout innings of relief from Jaylen Payden, Braden Hays and Nick Jones. Jarrett Brown led the way offensively with two RBIs.
Saturday the Eagles won 10-2 as Chase Dollander came through with 13 strikeouts and six shutout innings and Noah Ledford hit his ninth home run of the season to pace the Eagle offense. Ledford is currently 7th in the nation with nine home runs.
Sunday The Mountaineers Noah Hall allowed only one run in six innings as he kept the Eagle bats in check. Eli Ellington pitched in with three scoreless innings of relief as Appalachian State avoided the sweep with a 3-1 win. While the Eagle bats were held in check reliever Nick Jones struck out eight Mountaineer batters in only 2 and 2/3 innings
“I think we did some really good things over the weekend,” said Hennon. “I thought we got really good efforts from Tyler Owens on Friday and Chase Dollander on Saturday as well as Nick Jones out of the bullpen. I thought defensively we did some good things in the series. We faced three really good starters from Appalachian State and hit the ball pretty well particularly on Saturday.”
The pitching performances from Owens, Dollander and Jones were solid and also notable for the number of strikeouts. Owens had six strikeouts in six innings and allowed one unearned run. Dollander had 13 strikeouts in six innings and allowed no runs and only two hits. Jones struck out every batter he faced with the exception of one walk for a total of 11 in 3 and ⅔ innings. Nationally the Eagles ranked 13th in strikeouts and are 23rd in strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
“Chase and Nick both have power arms, and they are going to have a lot of strikeouts,” said Hennon. “Overall, we have a few other guys with big arms that are contributing as well. We still have to have a little more consistency from our pitching staff and really need a third starter that we can count on. The good thing is we have a mid-week game this week and hopefully someone will emerge.”
Tuesday the Eagles host the College of Charleston for a 6:00 start. Hennon is experimenting with the pitching staff as he will start freshman Jaylen Payden on the mound for the first time this season. Hennon will also have his eyes open for other players who may be ready to step into a bigger role.
“We are trying some things out in our mid-week games, but we are treating them the same as a conference series,” said Hennon. “All our games are of equal importance. The thing is the guys you start on the mound on the weekend aren’t available as you are keeping them rested. I like what I’ve seen from Jordan Jackson lately and we hope things will start to click for some other guys too.”
“It does allow for different guys to get out there at different points of the game,” said Hennon. “I say all the time whether it’s a mid-week game or a scrimmage every opportunity a guy gets is an audition to maybe increase their role. As we get to the halfway point, we are going to need more guys to step up.”