ATHENS—-Georgia begins a season-long eight-game home stand at Foley Field Friday starting with an SEC series against South Carolina. First pitch will be at 7:02 p.m. All three games will be televised on the SEC Network and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
Georgia (15-6, 2-1 SEC) won seven of its first eight games, then went 1-4 on a Charleston swing and now have won seven of its past eight contests. Last week in its SEC opener, Georgia went 2-1 to win a road series over Alabama. South Carolina comes to town with a 13-8 mark and 1-2 in the SEC after dropping a home series to second-ranked Florida. The Bulldogs have played 10 games away from Foley Field and only three SEC teams have played more road dates (MSU-12, Missouri & UK-11). The Bulldogs are 10-1 at home and 5-5 on the road. USC has played 19 of its 21 games at home, going 13-6. Georgia and Ole Miss are the only SEC teams yet to play a Top 25 opponent. USC is 2-4 against ranked teams.
The Bulldogs have won four straight series over USC including twice when the Gamecocks were ranked in the top 10. In records dating back to 1950, USC holds a 60-46 edge in the series over Georgia. The four-series win streak is Georgia’s longest series win streak over any SEC opponent. They are 8-4 against USC under Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin. In Stricklin’s first season (2014), Georgia’s series win over then No. 7 USC was its first over a top 10 team since 2011. Then in 2015, Georgia claimed a road series over then No. 7 USC, its first in Columbia since 1994. In 2016, Georgia captured a series over then No. 2 USC, the highest by the Bulldogs since 2001. Last year, Georgia went to then No. 30 USC and won the series to qualify for the SEC Tournament. The USC pitching staff has held opponents to just a .209 batting average this year and that is the best in the league.
The Bulldogs are averaging 7.9 runs a game while batting .292 with a 3.83 ERA and a .973 FLDG%. After one SEC series, Georgia is batting .264 in league action, has a 4.99 ERA and fielding .978. Offensively, Georgia has been led by senior outfielder Keegan McGovern (.390-9-27), sophomore third baseman/pitcher Aaron Schunk (.317-0-13; 1-0, 1.04 ERA, 8.2 IP, 13K), junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.346-3-22) and junior first baseman Adam Sasser (.354-2-17). McGovern ranks among the SEC leaders in most offensive categories. Sophomore Cam Shepherd is batting just .243 but has 21 RBI and 20 walks. Schunk has a career-best 16 game-hitting streak while sophomore Tucker Bradley (.295-1-7) saw his 10-game streak end this past Tuesday at Ga. State. During his hitting streak, Schunk is batting .348 (23-for-66).
Georgia’s SEC rotation will again feature senior Chase Adkins (2-0, 3.12 ERA) in game one and a pair of true freshmen in Emerson Hancock (2-1, 4.03 ERA) and Ryan Webb (0-1, 3.79 ERA) for games two and three. The bullpen factored heavily against the Crimson Tide who rallied late in all three contests. The Bulldogs top options include the aforementioned Schunk, sophomores Zac Kristofak (1-1, 2.84 ERA, 2 SV) and Will Proctor (2-2, 3.09 ERA, 2 SV). Also, sophomore Tony Locey (3-0, 5.17 ERA) notched a win in relief this past Sunday and senior Blake Cairnes (0-0, 4.61 ERA) has plenty of experience in late-inning situations.
On Saturday, Georgia will have a special pregame recognition at 1:40 p.m., honoring Bulldog alumni Chance Veazey and Johnathan Taylor along with an unveiling of a permanent display at Foley Field. They had their baseball careers cut short after separate devastating spinal cord injuries in 2009 and 2011. Both eventually returned to Georgia, earned a degree in 2013 and now are working in their hometowns of Tifton and Acworth. First pitch on Saturday will be at 2 p.m. followed by a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. South Carolina
Friday at 7 pm: Chase Adkins (2-0, 3.12), RHP, Sr. vs. John Gilreath (0-0, 4.58), LHP, Fr.
Saturday at 2 pm: Emerson Hancock (2-1, 4.03), RHP, Fr. vs. Cody Morris (4-1, 3.91), RHP, Jr.
Sunday at 1 pm: Ryan Webb (0-1, 3.79), RHP, Fr. vs. Ridge Chapman (1-2, 3.57), RHP, Jr.
TV: Entire series on SEC Network+ (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs)
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
Tickets/Promotions/Reminder Clear Bag Policy
-Foley Field – Gates/Ticket Booth open 2 hours before first pitch.
-Reserved Seat Tickets: $8; General Admission Tickets: $5
-UGA Student Tickets: Free Admission with valid UGA Student ID Card
-UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street
Friday: The first 1,000 fans receive a Georgia Baseball t-shirt
Saturday: Pregame ceremony honoring Bulldog Baseball alumni Johnathan Taylor and Chance Veazey
Sunday: The first 1,000 fans receive a UGA metal water bottle
Sunday Pregame: Anthem Buddies: Kids can stand on the field with the Bulldogs during the national anthem
Sunday Postgame: Kids Run The Bases, Play Catch In The Outfield
Foley Field Follows SEC’s Clear Bag Policy
In order to enhance safety and expedite fan entry at Georgia athletic events, UGA follows the SEC’s Clear Bag Policy at Foley Field and all other athletic facilities. Only one clear bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches (gallon size) per person is permitted. Fans are also allowed a small clutch purse not exceeding 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Also, Seat cushions/backs should be no bigger than 16 inches and have no arms or pockets.
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