The ping of aluminum bats and the popping of gloves will be heard this Friday at Foley Field as the Bulldogs begin fall practice at 5:00 p.m.
The Bulldogs will scrimmage on Saturday at approximately 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday around 1:30 p.m. The scrimmages are free and open to the public. Practice begins Saturday at noon and on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
Georgia will have an experienced squad in 2018 as the fall roster features 26 returning lettermen including the entire lineup of position players and 76 percent of the innings pitched from a year ago. The Bulldogs went 8-3 over their final 11 games of the regular season to qualify for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. They claimed SEC series over No. 4 Kentucky in Lexington, No. 6 Mississippi State in Athens and No. 30 South Carolina in Columbia to conclude league play.
Georgia’s top returning hitters include First Team All-SEC designated hitter/catcher Michael Curry (.297-10-16) and Freshman All-American shortstop Cam Shepherd (.307-5-28). Outfielder Tucker Bradley led the team in batting last year as a freshman with a .314 average and registered seven stolen bases. Outfielder Keegan McGovern, a three-year starter, is back for his final season of wearing the red and black. On the mound, Georgia lost just one starter in senior Andrew Gist who was a ninth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Southeastern Conference rotation last year featured, Gist, Chase Adkins, and Kevin Smith. Adkins, now a senior, led the staff with 14 starts, going 6-7 with a 3.95 ERA and a team-high 79.2 innings. Smith, now a junior, went 5-5 with a 4.87 ERA and two saves in 61 innings. Senior Blake Cairnes returns after leading the team with five saves.
Georgia’s Ike Cousins baseball coach Scott Stricklin and assistant coach Scott Daeley are in their fifth season here, and there are two new faces on the staff. Pitching coach Sean Kenny and volunteer coach Pete Hughes joined the Bulldog program earlier this year from Michigan and Oklahoma, respectively.
With a veteran roster, Georgia’s incoming class features just nine newcomers, all freshmen. This group consists of a pair of two-way players, four infielders, and three pitchers. Several newcomers fielded calls from teams during the MLB Draft and held firm to their commitment to UGA.
The Georgia Bulldog Club operates the Georgia Baseball Fund (GBF), which serves as the priority-seating program for Georgia Baseball. The donation deadline to guarantee a renewable season ticket for the 2018 Georgia Baseball season is Oct. 31. To learn more about the GBF, call The Georgia Bulldog Club toll-free at (877) 423-2947 or review the GBF brochure at the following link: http://thegeorgiabulldogclub.com/georgia-baseball-fund .
The 2018 Georgia baseball season begins on February 16 at Foley Field.