Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin announced Wednesday the Bulldog starting rotation for the season-opening four-game series with Evansville will feature four left handers.
Stricklin said senior C.J. Smith along with freshmen Luke Wagner, Jaden Woods and redshirt freshman Charlie Goldstein will comprise the rotation against Evansville. Smith will start Opening Day at Foley Field Friday with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. Saturday will feature a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders starting at noon. The series concludes Sunday with first pitch at noon. The entire series will be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
Georgia’s two preseason All-America pitchers in senior lefthander Ryan Webb and sophomore righthander Jonathan Cannon will miss the opening series while recovering from an illness while two more right-handed pitchers in redshirt sophomore Garrett Brown and sophomore Will Childers are out for the year due to injuries.
Evansville’s rotation for the Georgia series will be sophomore righthander Shane Gray, senior lefthander Nathan Croner, junior righthander Caleb Reinhardt and freshman lefthander Donovan Schultz.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin:
On four left-handers in the rotation
“I don’t know if we’ve ever done that and three of them are freshmen (Luke Wagner, Jaden Woods, Charlie Goldstein). Liam Sullivan and Ben Harris were the others that were in contention to start, and they’re both left-handed. It’s just the way it worked out. In the past, we’ve had a lot of power right-handed arms like Robert Tyler, Tony Locey, Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox. This year as Coach Kenny likes to call them, we love those wrong-handers, and they’re hard to hit. C.J. Smith is going to start it off for us and gives us a veteran presence.”
On the freshmen class
“There’s a lot of talented freshmen. We really like Corey Collins, Fernando Gonzalez and Park Harber, those three position players are going to play a lot. In the future, there’s Garrett Spikes, Dwight Allen, Trippe Moore, Caleb Ketchup, those guys are talented players just behind some veterans. We’ve got a lot of depth in the arms too. It’s a really good class, and they have a chance to be pretty special. It’s a mature group.”
What’s the one thing you want to learn from the team this weekend
“We’re going to have to see some toughness. When you play four games in a weekend especially against a team like Evansville, they have a lot of experience. Their lineup and most of their pitching rotation is back. We have a talented bunch, but we also got some young kids out there. We’re going to be facing some men across the diamond in the Purple Aces.”