Baseball: Georgia/Kentucky Series Begins Tonight

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Baseball: Georgia/Kentucky Series Begins Tonight

John Cable

Fourth-ranked Georgia returns to SEC action Thursday against Kentucky in Lexington. First pitch will be at 7 p.m. and be televised on the SEC Network and available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. Friday and Saturday’s games will be streamed on SEC Network+ and on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

At 21-4 overall, Georgia is off to its best start since 2009 when that club was 22-3 after 25 games. However, this year’s squad is 5-1 in the SEC which is tied with Arkansas and Texas A&M for the best record in the league. The 2009 squad was 4-2 after its first two SEC series. Georgia has moved up to a season-best No. 4 ranking in the D1Baseball.comTop 25 poll. It’s the highest ranking for the Bulldogs since checking in at No. 1 for five weeks during the 2009 season.

The Wildcats (15-10, 0-6 SEC) opened league play by getting swept by No. 13 LSU in Baton Rouge and then were swept at home this past weekend by No. 13 Texas A&M. The road team in the Georgia-Kentucky matchup has won every series since 2014. Georgia leads the all-time series 137-96-1 in records dating back to 1921.

Georgia’s pitching staff ranks entered the week ranked fifth nationally with a 2.54 ERA but comes in to the UK series at 2.75 following an 11-2 loss to rival Ga. Tech in Atlanta this past Tuesday. Junior RHP Tim Elliott (3-1, 0.66 ERA) provided 4.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and tied his career high with seven strikeouts before the bullpen was touched for nine runs (six earned) on seven hits. Georgia pushed across its only two runs in the first inning on three doubles, and the game was called due to heavy rains in the seventh inning.

Randon Jernigan

Georgia’s starting pitching this year owns a 16-2 mark with a 1.85 ERA. In the series win over No. 10 LSU last weekend, the starting trio of sophomore Emerson Hancock (5-1 0.59 ERA), sophomore C.J. Smith (2-0, 2.05 ERA) and junior Tony Locey (4-0, 2.10 ERA) combined for 19.1 innings and allowed just two earned runs but came away 1-1. Georgia will employ this same rotation for the UK series. UK will counter with sophomore RHP Jimmy Ramsey (2-1, 7.84 ERA) on Thursday, junior left-hander Zack Thompson (1-0, 2.60 ERA) on Friday with Saturday’s starter TBA.

The Bulldogs posted a perfect fielding percentage in the series win over No. 10 LSU. In SEC play, Georgia has made just one error for a .995 fielding percentage. Overall, the Bulldogs are batting .288 with a .403 on base percentage and a .980 fielding percentage. Georgia’s top hitters are senior 2B LJ Talley (.384-4-16), sophomore RF Riley King (.333-3-26), junior CF Tucker Maxwell (.333-6-26) and junior 3B/Closer Aaron Schunk (.313-4-20, 0-0 ,1.64 ERA, NCAA-leading 10 SV). Maxwell has been the team’s leading hitter in SEC action at .364-2-6.

Tony Locey

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP: GEORGIA @ KENTUCKY

G26 #17 Emerson Hancock, RHP, So. (5-1, 0.69) vs. #38 Jimmy Ramsey (2-1 7.84), RHP, So.

G27 #5   C.J. Smith, LHP, So. (2-0, 2.05) vs. #14 Zack Thompson (1-0, 2.60), LHP, Jr.

G28 #25 Tony Locey, RHP, Jr. (4-0, 2.10) vs. TBA

Television/Radio

TV: SEC Network

Thursday 7 pm

http://www.gado.gs/21m

Friday at 6:30 pm on SEC Network+

http://www.gado.gs/21i

Saturday 2 p.m. on SEC Network+

http://www.gado.gs/21k

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (David Johnston & Jeff Dantzler)

Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), also via the Georgia Bulldogs app and TuneIn app.

Additional Coverage on Twitter: @BaseballUGA

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.