By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Richardson goes from bench to beast
08 RichardsonDavid Cit1
Georgia Southern center fielder David Richardson takes a cut against The Citadel. Richardson is having a monster season, filling in for injured starter Matt Miller - photo by Georgia Southern AMR

    David Richardson is the type of guy that if he’s going to do something, you know it’s going to be done right.
    That much is evident on the field where the Georgia Southern senior outfielder is hitting .382 with 42 RBIs and 35 runs scored this season, his first as an everyday player. Richardson’s batting average is good for third on the team and eighth in the Southern Conference.
    His work ethic is also obvious in the classroom where he sports a 3.9 GPA and was tabbed GSU’s male student-athlete of the year. ESPN The Magazine also named him to one of its Academic All-District teams, and the Dahlonega native is on track to graduate in December with a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology. He plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.
    Richardson’s determination carries over to the weight room where he was one of 14 Division I athletes to be named a National Strength and Conditioning All-American.
    “You couldn’t have a better example for your program,” Eagle coach Rodney Hennon said. “He’s a first-class person on and off the field. Everything about David is solid. He’s always set a good example, so I’m really happy to see him having the kind of success he’s having.”
    On the field, Richardson’s story is one of grit and persistence. Heading into his senior campaign, he’d never seen regular playing time as an Eagle, making just 49 career starts during in his first three seasons.
    But a season-ending injury to starting center fielder Matt Miller early this year prompted the Eagles to turn to Richardson to fill the outfield void. Hennon was glad the Eagles had the luxury of looking to a mature veteran instead of relying on a younger inexperienced player. Richardson delivered and has flourished, evidenced by his current 14-game hitting streak.
    “This year has really been a blessing,” Richardson said. “It feels really good to be a part of what’s going on out here (especially with) this being my last year. It’s definitely hard being on the sidelines for a while, to have the same mindset and be ready, but that’s part of the game and part of being prepared. Just staying mentally tough and mentally ready is a big part of it.”
    Where exactly does all his drive for success come from?
    “I really take tremendous pride in everything I do and everything that has my name on it,” he said. “My main goal here was to be respected by my teammates and coaches, and I think taking care of business on and off the field will help me do that.”
    Along with his coaches, Richardon’s teammates have high regards for him.
    “He’s been a great spark for this team,” shortstop Brian Pierce said. “He’s a senior leader, a guy that does everything right both on and off the field. I know I look up to him, and a lot of these guys look up to him for leadership. He’s done a great job taking on that role. He’s a rock.”
    Richardon’s outstanding season already had one major highlight — hitting for the cycle in consecutive innings at the College of Charleston in late March. Hennon praised Richardson’s offense and defense, saying both have improved throughout the year.
    “I think the more he’s played, the more confident he’s gotten,” Hennon said. “He’s really been a big part of our team.”
Notes: The Eagles (28-20, 12-9) host UNC Greensboro (30-20, 14-7) this weekend in their final three home games of the year. First pitch is 7 p.m. today, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday…The Spartans swept the College of Charleston for the first time in school history last weekend while GSU took two of three from The Citadel for its third-straight SoCon series win…The Eagles are in fifth place in the league standings, and the Spartans are third… Prior to Sunday’s game the Eagles will honor seniors Burt Barto, Jeremy Beckham, Aaron Eubanks, Jeremiah Parker and Richardson.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.


Three Eagles make academic team
    Three Georgia Southern University baseball players were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams, as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
    Senior David Richardson (Dahlonega/Lumpkin County) was a District 3 Second Team selection while Chris Shehan (Strasburg, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) and Brian Pierce (Roswell/Roswell) earned Third Team honors. It is the first Academic All-District honor for all three.
    To be eligible, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, been enrolled in the institution one academic year and been a starter or important reserve. District 3 covers Division I institutions in the states of: Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Members of CoSIDA voted on the teams for their respective district.
    Richardson, a senior outfielder and recently named Georgia Southern's 'Male Student-Athlete of the Year', is hitting at a .382 clip, starting 30 times in 40 games played. He has scored 35 runs and driven in 42. Richardson has 10 doubles, one triple, nine home runs and stolen 9-of-12 bases. In the series opener at College of Charleston, Richardson hit for the cycle in consecutive innings. He carries a 3.90 GPA majoring in Exercise Science.
    Pierce, a junior shortstop, has made 159 consecutive starts dating back to early in his freshman year. He owns a .280 batting average with 12 doubles, 31 runs scored and a .955 fielding percentage this season. Pierce, like Richardson and Shehan, played a role in the NCAA record 14 home runs hit on March 15th against Columbia. Pierce carries a 3.83 GPA majoring in Finance.
    Shehan, a junior outfielder, leads the Eagles in nearly every offensive category and is nationally ranked among the 'Top 100' in nine different categories. Shehan owns a .436 batting average, in addition to 72 runs scored, 60 RBI, 16 doubles, 17 home runs, two triples and 20 stolen bases in 21 attempts. Shehan enters this weekend ranked second nationally in runs scored, total bases and on-base percentage (.556). Shehan earned national 'Player of the Week' honors in March, was a two-time SoCon 'Player of the Week' and the league's top offensive player in the month of March. He owns a 3.37 GPA majoring in Accounting.