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Mederos, Bobo likely headed back to Diamond Eagles
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2009 stats
Name                Wins    Losses    Saves      IP          K        ERA
Dexter Bobo            2        2            3    34 1/3      32       6.55
Chris Mederos         11        1            0    94          113       3.83

Georgia Southern baseball fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

Junior pitchers Chris Mederos and Dexter Bobo, who were each selected in the 2009 first-year player draft, have decided to play for the Eagles one more season.

Bobo was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates as the 1,315th overall pick in the 44th round. Weighing the pros and cons of being a late draft pick, Bobo decided he needed another year at GSU.

“I wasn’t going to get much of an opportunity being (drafted) that late,” said the left-handed reliever. “Hopefully I’ll go back to school and have another good year and improve my status and everything, go in a higher round maybe (next year).”

Now that he knows where he’ll be playing ball in 2010, Bobo is excited about the talent that’s returning.

“Pitching wise, we’re really only losing (closer) Kyle Kamppi,” said Bobo. “Obviously it’s going to be hard to replace Kamppi, but the fact that we’ve only gotta replace one pitcher on our staff, I think it’s going to be even better next year than it was this year.”

Freshmen Colin Snow and Matt Murray will return to the rotation with a year of college ball under their belts, and then, of course, there’s Mederos.

In his junior campaign, Mederos went 11-1 with a 3.71 ERA. He struck out 113 batters on his way to being voted first team all-Southern Conference.

He was thrilled about the chance to play professional baseball, but when negotiations with the Oakland Athletics, who picked up Mederos as the 753rd overall pick in the 25th round, didn’t go how he had envisioned them, he decided he should stay in Statesboro.

“I’m glad I got drafted,” said the righty. “It didn’t quite work out the way I planned on it, but I really like this team and I feel like we’re going to be good coming back this year.”

Negotiations with the Athletics are still in progress, but Mederos doesn’t think they will meet his terms. Although unlikely, the possibility of going pro is still there.

“I’m not 100-percent sure that I’m coming back because you never know,” he said, “but I do know that they’re not giving me even close to the money I’m looking for. There’s a pretty good chance that if they stick with what they’re doing, I’ll be back.”

Mederos, who is taking summer classes at GSU, has returned his focus to the chip on his shoulder that he got when the Eagles went winless in the Fullerton (Calif.) regional of the 2009 NCAA tournament.

When he fell just short of a championship in junior college, Mederos used that as motivation to help lead the Eagles to the 2009 SoCon championship.

Now, he’s got even more motivation heading into his senior year.

“Any time you make it to a certain spot and it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, you’re always gonna have a chip on your shoulder and want to do better next year,” he said. “I really feel like we’ll have the chance to make it to a regional again (next) year and hopefully we’ll be able to make it further. That’s one of my main goals — try to make it to another regional.”

Both pitchers agree that the experience received in the 2009 postseason will pay dividends now that they are back for another year.
“I think next year, we’re going to know what it feels like to get put out like that,” Bobo said. “I think we’ll come out hungry next year. We’ll have our mindset a little better. I think we just got satisfied with, ‘Hey, we made a regional.’ We just shut down.”

The best-case scenario is a chance at redemption in the regionals, but at the very least, they’ve got one more year in school with their teammates.

“If I would have (gone pro), I would have lost my senior year,” said Mederos. “You never know what’s going to happen in minor league baseball, so at least I know I’ve got at least one more year to play baseball. I’m really happy about that. I’m coming back to a team that will get along well next year, and that’s really big for me.”

Now that the personnel on the Georgia Southern pitching staff is a little clearer, coach Rodney Hennon hopes the Eagles can build on the success of the 42-17, 2009 season.

“We have an opportunity to be very deep from a pitching standpoint,” he said. “One thing that was good about last season (was making) a regional, but I would like to see us raise the bar for our program. We’ll try to put ourselves in that position, and hopefully our kids have a better understanding of what it will take to go further.”