ATHENS—-The 20th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs head to Missouri for an SEC series starting Thursday with the Tigers at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Games two and three will be available on SEC Network+ and the entire series can be heard on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
Here are a few notes on the Bulldogs and Tigers:
*Currently, the Bulldogs are 30-14 overall and 12-9 in the SEC, which is good for 2nd place in the Eastern Division. This is the fifth year for Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin, and the Bulldogs have an RPI on No. 8 and are having their best season since 2009. Georgia is aiming to make its first NCAA Regional since 2011. The team’s last College World Series appearance came in 2008 when the Bulldogs advanced to the CWS Finals.
*The Bulldogs were off the first part of the week due to final exams and return to action against Missouri (30-15, 9-12 SEC). Game one of the series on Thursday will be televised by the SEC Network at 7 p.m. ET while the final two contests will be available on SECN+. During the month of April, Georgia became the first SEC team to play an 11-game stretch against ranked opponents, and the Bulldogs went 5-6. Georgia has five seniors, all on track to graduate by next fall. Infielder Trey Logan will earn two degrees (Management Info. Systems & Finance) Saturday although he will be with the team in Columbia, Mo.
*The Tigers have a 9-6 lead over Georgia in the all-time series which began in 2013 when Missouri joined the SEC. Georgia claimed the 2016 series in Columbia 2-1 while the Tigers won 2-1 last year, going 1-1 in Athens and then taking the final game of the series at SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, in the first game open to the public. The Georgia-Missouri game at SunTrust drew a crowd of 33,025, the second largest in college baseball history. Missouri played a marathon midweek road game against Iowa. Despite trailing 8-0 after three innings, the Tigers rallied for a 17-16 win in 11 innings as the game lasted 4:58. Most recently in the SEC, they dropped a road series at nationally-ranked Kentucky 2-1 and defeated Vanderbilt 2-1 in a home series.
* The Bulldogs are averaging 6.5 runs a game while batting .286 with a 3.61 ERA and a .978 FLDG%. Georgia ranks seventh in the SEC in batting, sixth in pitching and seventh in fielding. In SEC games only, Georgia ranks fifth in batting (.275), fourth in pitching (4.13 ERA) and first in fielding (.982). The Tigers are averaging 6.4 runs a game, batting .269 with a 3.41 ERA and a .982 fielding percentage.
*Sophomore third baseman/closer Aaron Schunk is dual-threat Bulldog, batting .320-1-30 and on the mound is 1-1, 2.66 ERA, 6 SV. He has started all 44 games at third base and in 13 appearances spanning 20.1 innings, he has 22 strikeouts and only three walks. He is 6-for-7 in save chances. Schunk has posted one of the longest hitting streaks in the SEC this season at 16 games. Currently, he has a 12-game hitting streak including batting .500 last week, going 9-for-18 with two doubles and three RBI. In SEC games, Schunk is batting .295-1-11 and is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA and five saves in eight appearances.
*Georgia’s other top hitters have been senior outfielder Keegan McGovern (.331-13-40), who is on the Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.311-7-40) and junior first baseman Adam Sasser (.323-4-29). McGovern has reached base safely in 32 consecutive games. Sasser has been the team’s leading hitter in SEC action at .352-1-14. Sophomore outfielder Tucker Bradley (.306-2-18, 11 SB) has a 10-game hitting streak including batting .533 last week (8-for-15) with a home run and three RBI. Sophomore LJ Talley enjoyed a productive week too, hitting .357 (5-for-14) in four games with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI.
*Georgia’s top starters on the mound have been senior Chase Adkins (4-0, 3.92 ERA, 11 starts, 57.1 IP, 50K) and freshman Emerson Hancock (5-3, 4.27 ERA, 11 starts, 59 IP, 60K). Along with the aforementioned Schunk, the bullpen stalwarts have been junior Kevin Smith (5-1, 3.79 ERA) and sophomores Tony Locey (6-1, 3.76 ERA), Zac Kristofak (3-2, 2.70 ERA, 3 SV) and Will Proctor (3-2, 2.70 ERA, 2 SV). Smith will move back into the rotation, getting the Saturday start versus Missouri.
Pitching Matchups: UGA at Missouri
Thurs. at 7 pm ET: Chase Adkins (3-0, 3.68 ERA), RHP, Sr. vs. TBA
Fri. at 7:30 pm ET: Emerson Hancock (4-3, 4.15 ERA), RHP, Fr. vs. TBA
Sat. at 3 pm ET: Kevin Smith (5-1, 3.79 ERA), LHP, Jr. vs. TBA
TV: Thurs.—SEC Network (Mike Moran & Todd Walker); Fri.-Sat.: SEC Network+ (Ben Arnet & Tim Jamieson)
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