Georgia will face No. 18 Mississippi State in the opening round of the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, AL.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the SEC baseball tournament game between Georgia and Mississippi State has been postponed till Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Bulldogs (25-31) are the 12th seed while MSU (34-22) enters the tournament as the fifth seed. Two weeks ago, MSU was ranked sixth when it came to Athens and Georgia claimed the series two games to one. Last week with the Western Division title on the line, fifth-ranked LSU went to Starkville and swept MSU to win the division and a share of the overall league title. The opening round of the SEC Tournament is single elimination. Should Georgia advance to Wednesday, it would face 13th-ranked Arkansas (39-15) at 9 p.m. ET in a double-elimination format.
CLICK HERE for the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament bracket.
Georgia has been one of the hottest teams in the league the last three weeks, registering series wins over fourth-ranked Kentucky in Lexington, the aforementioned wins over MSU and most recently at No. 30 South Carolina. It’s the first time since 2001 that Georgia has won three straight SEC series over ranked teams.
“You look at where we were three weeks ago making a long trip up to fourth-ranked Kentucky, and we get a call Friday morning that they want to move the game up due to weather, and we said fine, let’s play, and the kids responded on a cold, rainy day with a win, and we ended up winning that series,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin. “We started playing with a lot of confidence, and we’ve won three SEC series in a row against some really good baseball teams. We’ve got six freshmen with more than 100 at-bats now, and they’ve grown up. They’re not freshmen anymore and our veterans have shown great leadership too. It took some time for us to grow up, and we put ourselves in a tough position, however, we have momentum now going to the SEC Tournament.”
The Bulldogs will start junior right-hander Chase Adkins (6-6, 3.79 ERA). After Georgia clinched a spot in the SEC Tournament last Thursday in Columbia, Adkins did not make his regular turn in the rotation. Instead, he pitched briefly in relief Friday with the plan for him to start the first game of the SEC Tournament. Against MSU on May 14th, Adkins started game three, and it was on his 22nd birthday. He provided six scoreless innings in a 4-1 series-clinching victory. Adkins has made 13 starts this year and leads the team in wins, ERA and innings pitched.
“It doesn’t matter who we play (in the SEC Tournament), we know it’s going to be a good matchup,” added Stricklin. “Our kids are confident, but on the flipside, I know Mississippi State will be ready for us too.”
Offensively, Georgia’s top three hitters are freshman right fielder Tucker Bradley (.322-0-10), freshman shortstop Cam Shepherd (.303-5-28) and sophomore catcher/designated hitter Michael Curry (.298-10-46). Curry ranks among the SEC leaders in home runs and RBI while Shepherd has a team-high 72 hits including 16 doubles.
The entire SEC Tournament leading up to the final will be televised by the SEC Network, and all Georgia games will be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
CLICK HERE for the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament page.
SEC Tournament Clear Bag Policy
Fans attending the 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover will be asked to enter the event with clear bags and should be prepared to arrive early and to see a law enforcement presence in and around Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, the Conference office has announced. Enhanced security measures, including the clear bag policy, will also be in place at the inaugural SEC Baseball FanFest event in the new Finley Center adjacent to the Hoover Met. The security measures are consistent with procedures exercised at other SEC championship events throughout the year.
2017 Georgia Baseball Stat Link:
CLICK HERE for the 2017 Georgia Baseball Stat Link.