If you were wondering what happened to former Harlem pitching standout Josh Wirsu, you were not alone.
I must admit, I also lost track of the 6-0, 186-pound right hander. After a stellar career for the Bulldogs he spent some time at North Greenville, before transferring to Gordon State Junior College. At Gordon State, Wirsu put together an impressive sophomore season in 2013. He struck out 74 batters in only 63 innings and had an ERA of 3.03. He signed with Georgia Southern and joined fellow Columbia County product Ben Morgan (Greenbrier) in Statesboro.
Morgan has had a tremendous career for the Eagles and had high expectations entering his senior campaign at GSU.
This season he is hitting just .256, but he leads the team in steals with 15, walks with 25, and is second in runs scored with 30. He also boasts a solid .379 on base percentage. Morgan also has 6 doubles, 3 HR, and 20 RBI this year for the Eagles.
Therefore, I must admit if I were to be writing about Georgia Southern baseball this spring, I expected Morgan to be the focus of the story.
But Morgan has been battling a pulled left oblique muscle, which hampers his swing, throwing, and running. The injury has caused his numbers to dip a bit.
Meanwhile, his teammate Wirsu has compiled an All-American caliber season. He is 8-2 with an ERA of 2.72 in 10 starts on the mound. He leads the team in wins, strike-outs (63 in 59.2 innings), and is the only Eagle with a complete game. That came on April 5 when he shut down The Citadel, allowing six hits and one run while striking out 13 batters. It was his second consecutive 13-strikeout effort. He is holding opponents to a team best .186 batting average and, perhaps most impressive, has only allowed five extra base hits in 221 batters faced on the season.
All the numbers are even more impressive when you consider Wirsu’s first start was a disaster. He went four innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) in a loss to the University of Georgia. Wirsu went from Gordon State to pitching against UGA, and he seemed a little overwhelmed. He is 8-1 since that start and has only allowed 12 earned runs in those nine starts on the mound. From a 27.00 ERA down to a 2.72 currently is also impressive.
Yes, it is safe to say that Georgia Southern’s successful pipeline to Columbia County has continued to work for the Eagles.
On the season, GSU is 27-15 overall and 9-9 in the very difficult Southern Conference.
They beat UGA in two of three games. They also split with Georgia Tech and No. 13 Clemson. So, they have an overall 4-3 record versus those much larger programs.
There is less than a month left in the regular season, and you can bet GSU will be counting on Wirsu and Morgan heavily as they try to make their way to the College World Series.