ATHENS—-Fresh off a successful SEC opening series at Alabama, the Bulldogs get back on the road to face Georgia State in Atlanta Tuesday. First pitch will be at 6 p.m. and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
The Bulldogs (14-6, 2-1 SEC), under the direction of Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin, went 3-1 last week highlighted by a road series win over the Crimson Tide. Up next, Georgia battles the Panthers (11-9) before returning to Foley Field Friday for an eight-game homestand.
The Bulldogs are averaging 7.7 runs a game while batting .292 with a 3.92 ERA and a .973 FLDG%). Offensively, Georgia has been led by senior outfielder Keegan McGovern (.365-7-22), sophomore third baseman/pitcher Aaron Schunk (.304-0-13; 1-0, 1.04 ERA, 8.2 IP, 13K), junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.351-2-20) and junior first baseman Adam Sasser (.341-2-16). McGovern ranks sixth in the SEC in home runs, third in walks (19) and runs scored (26) and fifth in total bases (52). Sophomore Cam Shepherd is batting just .247 but has 20 RBI and 18 walks.
Schunk has a career-best 15 game-hitting streak while sophomore Tucker Bradley has hit safely in the past 10 games. In his streak, Schunk is batting .333 (21-for-63) while Bradley is batting .370 (17-for-46) during his streak. Bradley’s team-best eight stolen bases rank sixth in the SEC.
Georgia’s SEC rotation featured 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). Sophomore Tony Locey (3-0, 5.17 ERA) notched a win in relief this past Sunday. Locey along with sophomore Tim Elliott (1-0, 2.45 ERA) have been the midweek starters.
Elliott will get the start against GSU Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Panthers have not announced a starter. Georgia leads the all-time series with the Panthers 40-7, and the teams haven’t met since 2015, a 4-2 Bulldog victory. Georgia’s last trip to Atlanta to face GSU came in 2013, and the Panthers won 10-7 to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. GSU is coached by Greg Frady who is in his 12th year. Bulldog freshman outfielder/pitcher Chaney Rogers, who has appeared in eight games, is batting .429-0-1 and could square off against his older brother, Jake, who is a pitcher for the Panthers. A junior right-hander, Jake is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts. Jake threw three innings in his last action on Saturday.
After the contest against the Panthers, Georgia begins a season-long eight-game homestand with an SEC series against South Carolina (13-7, 1-2 SEC) starting Friday at 7 p.m. The entire USC series will be televised on SEC Network+. The Bulldogs have won four straight series over USC including twice when the Gamecocks were ranked in the top 10. USC holds a 60-46 edge in the series over Georgia. On Saturday, Georgia will have a special pregame recognition around 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.
Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. Ga. State
Tuesday: #44 Tim Elliott (1-0, 2.45 ERA), RHP, So. vs. TBA
TV: PantherVision (subscription-based, cost is $5.95 for a single 24-hour access package through georgiastatesports.com)
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