ATHENS—-Nationally-ranked Georgia plays host to Georgia Tech Tuesday in the first of three meetings this season. First pitch will be at 7:02 p.m. and be televised on SEC Network+ and available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
The Bulldogs (21-7, 7-2 SEC) are one of the hottest teams in the land, winning 16 of their past 18 games and sitting atop the Southeastern Conference with top-ranked Florida as both are 7-2 in league play. Georgia is ranked in all four Top 25 polls this week including No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 16 by D1Baseball.com, No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches and No. 21 by Baseball America.
Georgia will face Tech (17-11) again in Atlanta on April 24 on Tech’s campus and then on May 8 at SunTrust Park to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Georgia swept Tech last year, winning all three meetings for the first time since 1984. Tech is coming off a three-game home sweep of Miami (Fla.).
With an SEC road series at No. 16 Vanderbilt starting Thursday, Georgia will employ a staff night on the mound Tuesday. Sophomore right-hander Tony Locey (5-0, 3.20 ERA) will get the start while Tech counters with freshman left-hander Brant Hurter (2-1 ,5.03 ERA). In his last action, Locey came on in relief for an injured Emerson Hancock Friday and picked up a win to clinch the series against 15th-ranked Texas A&M. Locey answered the mid-inning call by tossing 3.2 scoreless frames with four strikeouts in a 3-0 shutout. In the SEC, Locey is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 9.1 innings.
The Bulldogs pitching staff has registered three shutouts in its last five games and boast an ERA of 3.52, which ranks eighth in the SEC. The Bulldogs are averaging 7.4 runs a game while batting .289 and have a .977 Fielding Percentage. Georgia checks in sixth in the SEC in batting and seventh in fielding. In four games last week, Georgia fielded .993, making just one error. In SEC action this year, Georgia is fielding .985.
Offensively, Georgia has been led by senior outfielder Keegan McGovern (.350-10-30), sophomore third baseman/pitcher Aaron Schunk (.303-0-17; 1-0, 0.71 ERA, 3 SV, 12.2 IP, 16K), junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.349-6-32) and junior second baseman LJ Talley (.315-2-14). McGovern ranks among the top 10 in the SEC in numerous offensive categories including first in runs scored (37), walks (25), home runs (10), RBI (30) and slugging percentage (.720) while Curry is second in RBI (32). Sophomore Cam Shepherd is batting .240 but ranks second in doubles (10) and has 24 RBI and 21 walks. Curry, Talley and redshirt freshman Mason Meadows (.304-2-14) are all hitting over .300 in SEC action including .371 by Curry, a preseason All-SEC selection by the league coaches.
Georgia and Tech have been meeting since 1898, and the Bulldogs own a 208-162-1 edge in the series history. Last year, Georgia posted its first series sweep since 1984. The Bulldogs registered a 5-1 win at Foley Field, then beat Tech 7-5 on its campus in Atlanta and capped the series with an 8-7 victory at SunTrust Park.
Under Georgia’s Ike Cousins baseball coach Scott Stricklin, the Bulldogs are 7-4 against Tech including 3-1 at Foley Field. Georgia went 1-2 against Tech in 2014, 2-1 in 2015 and 2016 and 3-0 in 2017. Stricklin played for Tech coach Danny Hall at Kent State, serving as a catcher from 1993-93. After his pro career, Stricklin’s first coaching job came at Tech under Hall (1998-99) and later returned as a hitting coach/recruiting coordinator (2002-04) before landing the head job at Kent State.
Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. Tech
Tuesday: *Tony Locey (5-0, 3.20 ERA), RHP, So. vs. Brant Hurter (2-1, 5.03 ERA), LHP, Fr.
*Staff night for Georgia with SEC series starting Thursday
TV: SEC Network+ (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs)
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
Tickets/Promotions/Reminder Clear Bag Policy
-Foley Field – Gates/Ticket Booth open 2 hours before first pitch.
-Reserved Seat Tickets: $8; General Admission Tickets: $5
-Order online or by calling 1-877-542-1231
-UGA Student Tickets: Free Admission with valid UGA Student ID Card
-UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street