[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia is 5-1 on the road in the SEC this year, sweeping Tennessee (March 20-22) and winning a series over then No. 7 South Carolina (March 27-29), its first in Columbia since 1994. The Bulldogs are 0-6 at home in the SEC, getting swept by Missouri and No. 1 Vanderbilt. No. 3 LSU in Hoover swept Alabama last weekend, and two of the games went extra innings, including one that went 16.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia, under the direction of Head Coach Scott Stricklin, is batting .275 with 29 home runs while the Bulldogs have a 4.32 ERA and are fielding .970. For the last month, the Bulldogs have been without their No. 1 starter (Robert Tyler – forearm strain) and No. 3 starter (David Sosebee – back) plus two relievers in senior Taylor Hicks and sophomore Drew Moody. However, the Bulldogs got a boost this past Tuesday when Sosebee (2-1, 2.05 ERA) returned as part of a staff night at Clemson. Also, Hicks (0-0, 1.15 ERA) returned to action with a scoreless inning. The Bulldogs hope to get Tyler (1-0, 3.86 ERA) back this month too.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Senior LHP/1B Jared Walsh (3-0, 1.82 ERA; .304-2-17) is one of the top two-way talents in the SEC and among the ERA leaders. In SEC action, Walsh is 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four appearances including three starts while batting a team-best .295-1-7. Last weekend against top-ranked Vanderbilt, Walsh hit .556 (5-for-9) in two starts in the field and then made the Sunday start on the mound. He went six innings, allowing just one run on two hits with five strikeouts. He was in line for a victory but the Commodores rallied back off the Bulldog bullpen. The other two SEC starting pitchers for the Bulldogs recently have been junior Ryan Lawlor (3-4, 3.46 ERA) and junior Sean McLaughlin (3-2, 5.49 ERA). Senior Jared Cheek (2-1, 2.42 ERA, 5 SV) has been the most consistent reliever and ranks among the SEC leaders in appearances with 17. Cheek pitched 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts in the series versus #1 Vanderbilt and tossed a scoreless inning to notch his fifth save this past Tuesday in a 3-2 road win over Clemson.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Sophomore centerfielder Stephen Wrenn (.326-5-18) has reached base safely in all 34 games this season and has started three games with a leadoff home run. He ranks second in the SEC in stolen bases with 18. For his career, Wrenn is batting .282-5-38 with 34 SB.
[su_spacer size=”40″] In records dating back to 1950, UA leads the series 46-32. The teams last met for an SEC series in 2013 in Athens with the Crimson Tide posting a three-game sweep (6-3; 6-3; 3-0). Georgia’s last series win over the Tide came in 2004, going 2-1 in Athens. The teams last squared off in Hoover during a non-conference matchup during the 2010 regular season, a 13-2 Crimson Tide victory. A year later, the teams met at Coolray Field, the Triple-A home of the Gwinnett Braves in Lawrenceville, Ga., where Georgia won 6-4. The clubs did not meet in an SEC series those years and opted to play one neutral site game in 2010 and 2011, and it didn’t count in the SEC standings. Overall, Georgia is 0-3 against the Crimson Tide at the Hoover Met. The Bulldogs have an all-time mark of 11-22 at the Hoover Met.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Probable Pitching Matchup For UGA-UA Series
[su_spacer size=”20″] Friday at 8 pm ET: Sean McLaughlin (3-2, 5.49), RHP, Jr. vs. Taylor Guilbeau (2-2, 2.94), LHP, Sr.
Saturday at 4 pm ET: Ryan Lawlor (3-4, 3.46), LHP, Jr. vs. Will Carter (1-4, 5.44), RHP, Jr.
Sunday at 2 pm ET: TBA vs. Geoffrey Bramblett (4-1, 4.05), RHP, So.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston)
Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), georgiadogs.com;
[su_spacer size=”40″] TV: SEC Network+
Friday at 8 pm ET (SEC Network+)
Saturday at 4 pm ET (SEC Network+)
Sunday at 2 pm ET (SEC Network+)
Additional Coverage on Twitter: @BaseballUGA