STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern baseball team steps out of conference play with a three-game road series against the Clemson Tigers this weekend.
The series opens Friday night with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch and concludes with a 6:30 p.m. start on Saturday and a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
The Eagles (27-21) are coming off a series loss to South Alabama and had the mid-week off to take care of their final exams. Georgia Southern will look to rebound against the Tigers (25-24) after being swept by the Jaguars.
Clemson played three games to start the week and is coming off a 6-3 win over #18 College of Charleston. The Tigers dropped the conference series to #3 Louisville and fell on the road at Wofford on Tuesday.
The two teams have met in each of the last two seasons, and Clemson holds a 53-27-1 record in the all-time series. The Eagles snapped a 13-game losing streak in the series with a 14-5 in the first of two mid-week games in 2014.
Both head coaches are very familiar with each other and have squared off 21 times on the diamond. The familiarity goes further than that though. GS Head Coach Rodney Hennon played for Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett at Western Carolina for two seasons in 1990 and 1991.
The Eagles are hitting .265 on the season as a team with senior outfielder Kody Adams leading the way with a .325 batting average. Adams leads the team with 13 doubles.
Aaron Mizell continues to bid for the Conference Player of the Year award and is hitting .303 with 12 doubles and 12 home runs. Mizell leads the team with 39 RBI and is slugging .590 with a .287 ISO.
The pitching staff holds a 4.17 ERA. Evan Challenger was tagged with his first loss of the season last weekend against South Alabama but holds a 5-1 record and a 1.11 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Challenger will get the series opening start against one of the best in the ACC in Matthew Crownover. Crownover holds an 8-1 record with a 1.22 ERA in 12 starts. The junior from Ringgold, Ga. limited #3 Louisville last Saturday to one run on three hits over seven innings to pick up his eighth win of the season.
Tripp Sheppard (4-2, 3.18 ERA) and Connor Simmons (2-5, 3.92 ERA) will round out the weekend rotation for the Eagles. Sheppard will square off with Zack Erwin (4-4, 3.18 ERA) on Saturday. The Tigers have not announced a starter for Sunday.
The Tigers are hitting .281 as a squad. Reed Rohlman leads the team with a .351 batting average and 13 doubles in 49 games this season. Chris Okey leads the team with eight home runs and 43 RBI.
The Eagles will return home after the weekend series to host their final home game and non-conference mid-week game against the Kennesaw State Owls on Tuesday.