Eighth-ranked Georgia makes it final road trip of the regular season Wednesday when it heads to the state of Alabama to face Jacksonville State and then Auburn.
The Bulldogs (37-12, 16-8 SEC), under the direction of Ike Cousins head coach Scott Stricklin, face the Gamecocks (26-21) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be available on ESPN+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. The SEC series with Auburn (29-18, 12-12 SEC) begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET, continues Saturday at 3 p.m. ET and concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The conference series will be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
Georgia has posted its best record after 49 games since the 1990 national championship team was 40-9 at this point in the season. Georgia has four games this week, and after 53 games in 1990, that squad was 41-12. The 1990 Bulldogs claimed the SEC’s first baseball national title and finished with a record of 52-19. This season, Georgia is in the hunt for its first SEC title since 2008. The Bulldogs trail Vanderbilt by two games with six conference games left to play. Earlier this season, Georgia won the Vanderbilt series 2-1 in Athens.
Back in March in Athens, Georgia registered 5-1 win over JSU. JSU wrapped up a series with UT-Martin Monday with a 20-2 win. The Bulldogs will start redshirt junior Logan Moody (1-0, 1.74 ERA). The Gamecocks will counter with redshirt freshman Trey Fortner (2-5, 5.40 ERA). The Georgia-JSU series is tied at three all. The Bulldogs last faced JSU in Jacksonville in 2009, and the Gamecocks won 9-7.
Auburn plays host to UAB on Tuesday. The Tigers have won the past three series against Georgia coming in 2013 (2-1 in Auburn), 2015 (3-0 in Auburn) and 2017 (2-1 in Athens). Georgia’s last series win over Auburn came in 2012 in Athens (3-0), and the last time as the road team was 2006, a three-game sweep. Auburn leads the all-time series 148-132-3 in a record dating back to 1897.
Senior second baseman LJ Talley continues to lead the Bulldog offense with a team-best .339 average, eight home runs, and 37 RBI. Junior centerfielder Tucker Maxwell leads the club with 10 home runs and ranks among the SEC leaders in stolen bases with a team-best 19. He pulled a hamstring Sunday and aims to return for the Auburn series. In four games last week, junior shortstop Cam Shepherd (.221-4-25) smashed three home runs and drove in eight.
Junior third baseman/closer Aaron Schunk looks to return this week. He is batting a team-high .339 with seven home runs and 31 RBI. He has missed the past six games with a sore heel. On the mound, the Bulldogs look to get sophomore ace right-hander Emerson Hancock (7-2, 1.04 ERA) back for the Auburn series as well. The Bulldogs will announce their SEC rotation for the AU series on Thursday. Last weekend in the sweep of Florida, junior Tony Locey improved to 8-1 with a 2.63 by winning Friday. After a Saturday rainout, the teams played a doubleheader on Sunday. Junior Tim Elliott notched the win in game one to move his record to 6-3 with a 2.56 ERA and then Cole Wilcox, who was making his first career SEC start, fired a complete game two-hitter to complete the sweep. Wilcox was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week. He is now 2-0 with a 4.17 ERA.
Stellar defense has been one constant for Georgia as the Bulldogs are on pace to set a Fielding Percentage school record for the second year in a row. Currently, Georgia is fielding .980 overall and a league-best .986 in SEC action. Last year, the Bulldogs established the fielding mark at .979 overall. In the series sweep of No. 21 Missouri this year, the Bulldogs turned their first Triple Play since 1963!
TV: Wednesday vs. JSU @ 7:30 pm ET (ESPN+); Link: http://www.gado.gs/2ks
Friday vs. AU @ 7 pm ET (SEC Network+); Link: http://www.gado.gs/2ku
Saturday vs. AU @ 3 pm ET (SEC Network+); Link: http://www.gado.gs/2kw
Sunday vs. AU @ 2 pm ET (SEC Network+); Link: http://www.gado.gs/2ky
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