Regional Preview: #2 Seed Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern went 33-25 in 2008 despite averaging 10 runs per game, hitting 114 HR's and having 109 SB's because of a pitching staff that had a 7.04 ERA.

  • Overall Record – 42-15
  • Conference Record – 20-8 (2nd place)
  • How they qualified for a regional – Won the Southern Conference Tournament (Davidson 4-3 in 11 innings, Appalachian State 6-5, Furman 16-4, Elon 7-3)
  • Last Regional Appearance – 2002
  • RPI/ISR – 32/39

Season Summary

Georgia Southern went 33-25 in 2008 despite averaging 10 runs per game, hitting 114 HR's and having 109 SB's because of a pitching staff that had a 7.04 ERA.  The Eagles expected to contend for a regional this season if they were able to get better pitching with several of the hitters returning who were able to take advantage of the short dimensions at their home ballpark (330 to the lines, 360 to the alleys, 385 to CF) that helped them put up those strong numbers.  Georgia Southern is 7-6 against teams that qualified for the regional field and had a 108 SOS according to Boyd's World.  The Eagles did pad their stats with early series romps against Presbyterian and Coppin State but they also went 3-2 in non-conf games against Georgia Tech and East Carolina, including a 23-3 midweek bludgeoning of the Yellow Jackets.  Georgia Southern doesn't have quite the HR power that they had last season but they are a very consistent lineup with eight players hitting over .300 and five hitters with double digit HR's.  The Friday SP for the Eagles has been very good and the other two weekend SP's have done enough to get games to a bullpen that has been solid.  Georgia Southern is 33-1 when leading after 7 innings and 34-0 when leading after 8 innings.

 

Offense

Park Factor according to Boyd's World – 116 (increases offense by 16%).

Batting Average – .324 (NCAA ranking - 36)

Runs Per Game – 9.6 (5)

Home Runs – 80 (31)

Stolen Bases – 50 (182)

Slugging Percentage – .507 (44)

Walks – 268 (23)

HBP's – 105 (6)

Sac Bunts – 33 (99)

 

Batting Order

LF Roman Grimaldi (LH – .329 in 73 AB's).  OF reserves are Randy Williams (RH – .286 in 70 AB's) and Jonathan King (RH – .246-1-18-3).  King is tied for team lead with 34 BB's in only 126 AB's.

CF Ty Wright (RH – .331-11-58-15).  Leads team in R's and SB's.  2nd on team in RBI's.  Very good BB/K ratio (29/26).  Hit .398 with 17 HR and 52 RBI in 2008.

C Griffin Benedict (LH – .401-11-61-8).  2nd team all-conf.  Leads team in RBI, OBP (.522) and HBP's (23).  Tied for team lead with 34 BB's.  Tied for 2nd in HR's.  2nd on team in SLG (.627).  Very good BB/K ratio (34/29). 

RF Phillip Porter (RH – .368-11-50-11).  2nd on team in BA, OBP and SB's.  Tied for 2nd in HR's.  Leads team with 45 K's.

DH Kyle Blackburn (LH – .314-11-26-0).  Leads team in SLG (.744).  11 HR's and 21 K's in only 86 AB's.

3B A.J. Wirnsberger (RH – .332-13-57-2).  Leads team in HR's.  Had even better power #'s in 2008 with 21 HR and 74 RBI.

1B Eric Phillips (RH – .328-3-41-3).  2nd on team with 6 SAC bunts.

SS Brian Pierce (RH – .353-3-41-0).  Returning starter is 3rd on team in BA.

2B Kevin Bowles (RH – .285-3-32-1).  2nd on team with 13 HBP's and leads team with 8 SAC bunts.

 

Defense

Fielding .974 (15) – 55 errors.  Good fielding team around the infield.  Wright and Porter have good speed in the OF.

Double Plays – 60 (21)

Stolen Base Attempts – 40-62 against Benedict.  Benedict has picked off three runners and the team has picked off 16 runners.

WP's/PB's Allowed – 52

 

Pitching

ERA – 4.95 (71)

BA – .290

HR – 57

H's/9 IP – 10.18 (95)

BB's/9 IP – 3.74 (112)               

K's/9 IP – 8.1 (37)

 

Starting Pitchers

Chris Mederos (RHP – 11-1, 3.66 ERA, 15 starts, 93 IP, 92 H, 29 BB, 112 K, .264 BA, 5 HR, 9 HBP, 5 WP).  1st team all-conf.  Hard thrower is 5th in the country in wins and 12th in K's.  Allowed 3 R or less in each of his last four starts.  7-12 SB's.  Picked off four runners.

Jake Brown (LHP – 6-3, 4.54 ERA, 16 apps, 11 starts, 81 IP, 97 H, 22 BB, 58 K, .298 BA, 10 HR, 7 HBP, 3 WP).  Allowed 4+ R in last three starts after allowing only 3 R total in two previous starts.  Tied for team lead in HR allowed.  13-16 SB's.

Matt Murray (RHP – 6-3, 4.76 ERA, 15 apps, 13 starts, 1 save, 74 IP, 81 H, 27 BB, 60 K, .287 BA, 8 HR, 8 HBP, 5 WP).  Held Furman to 1 R on 3 H with 11 K in 7 IP in the conf tournament.  8-15 SB's.

Andy Moye (RHP – 5-1, 6.60 ERA, 16 apps, 13 starts, 61 IP, 73 H, 27 BB, 52 K, .307 BA, 10 HR, 7 HBP, 7 WP).  Midweek SP.

 

Relief Pitchers

Closer – Kyle Kamppi (RHP – 3-2, 3.86 ERA, 30 apps, 8 saves, 37 IP, 44 H, 20 BB, 39 K, .291 BA, 4 HR, 2 HBP, 5 WP).  Able to go several innings after being a part-time SP last season. 

Dexter Bobo (LHP – 2-2, 6.62 ERA, 27 apps, 3 saves, 34 IP, 37 H, 18 BB, 32 K, .276 BA, 7 HR, 4 HBP, 3 WP). 

Charles Matthews (RHP – 2-0, 3.93 ERA, 28 apps, 1 save, 34 IP, 35 H, 21 BB, 30 K, .280 BA, 2 HR, 10 HBP, 2 WP).

Collin Snow (RHP – 4-2, 3.64 ERA, 17 apps, 3 starts, 42 IP, 46 H, 17 BB, 33 K, .279 BA, 4 HR, 2 HBP, 5 WP).

Michael Hester (RHP – 3-0, 6.75 ERA, 14 apps, 2 starts, 23 IP, 26 H, 9 BB, 23 K, .289 BA, 2 HR, 3 HBP, 2 WP).