The No. 20 Georgia Bulldogs resume Southeastern Conference action here today against Kentucky. First pitch is set for 6:02 p.m. ET and be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.
Georgia (21-11, 5-7 SEC) is riding high after winning an SEC road series versus No. 1 Vanderbilt, outscoring them 25-8. It was Georgia’s first series win over a No. 1 ranked team since 1993. Also, Georgia became the first team to beat Vanderbilt in Nashville in a series since 2018. Kentucky (21-9, 6-6 SEC) was the only team to claim an SEC series over Georgia at Foley Field from 2018-19, winning 2-1 in 2018. This year, Georgia has dropped home series to then #10 Tennessee and #8 USC 2-1. The Bulldogs posted a 10-7 win over Ga. State 10-7 at Foley Field Tuesday while the Wildcats blanked Bellarmine 12-0. Last week in league play, they dropped two of three to visiting LSU.
Georgia leads the all-time series with the Wildcats 139-97-1 in records dating back to 1921. The visiting team has won the last six series since UK held serve at home in 2013. Georgia’s last series win over UK at Foley Field came in 2010 (2-1). This year, UK swept Auburn on the road and was swept at #5 Miss. State.
Redshirt junior Connor Tate (.377-8-25) led the Bulldog attack against the top-ranked Commodores, batting .583 (7-for-12) with two doubles, three home runs, and six RBI. He was one of nine players/pitchers named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, and he was the SEC Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. Tate is the first Bulldog named National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week since Tucker Bradley last year. Tate is batting .391-6-10 in SEC action. Earlier this year, DH/C Corey Collins (.304-5-23) was named SEC Freshman of the Week. He made his first start at C Tuesday.
Last Game Gallery: Georgia vs. Georgia State – UGA 10, GSU 7
Sophomore RHP Jonathan Cannon (2-2, 3.38 ERA) was named the NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday and the SEC Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He tossed a career-high seven shutout innings with 9 strikeouts and no walks in clinching SEC road series over No. 1 Vanderbilt this past Saturday. He is Georgia’s first National Pitcher of the Week since Tony Locey in 2019 and SEC Pitcher of the Week since Cole Wilcox in 2020. Cannon will pitch again Saturday with senior LHP Ryan Webb (2-1, 2.86 ERA) going in the opener Friday. Georgia has not announced a Sunday starter.
Redshirt junior INF Josh McAllister (.362-5-13), who ranks among the SEC leaders in batting, has missed the last seven games due to a hamstring injury. He is day-to-day after having to leave game one of the USC series (Apr. 2) with a pulled hamstring and is slated to return in the UK series. It is the second time this year that the injury has flared up. Earlier this year, he had a 17-game on base streak. Senior Garrett Blaylock (.258-6-18) has filled in at second base. He had nothing but extra base hits against No. 1 VU, smacking two doubles and three home runs with five RBI. He batted .385 (5-for-13) in the series to improve to .421-3-7 In SEC action.
On Saturday as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness, Georgia will honor the memory of their “STAR,” Nicholas Chaclan, who passed away last December. His sister, Melissa, will throw out the first pitch, and a moment of silence will be observed for Nicholas and all those who have lost their battle with cancer. The team also will wear gold shoelaces to show their support for VS. Cancer and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
UGA-UK Series Pitching Matchups:
Game 1: Sr. LHP Ryan Webb (2-1, 2.86 ERA) vs. RHP Cole Stupp (3-2, 3.38 ERA)
Game 2: So. RHP Jonathan Cannon (2-2, 3.38 ERA) vs. Sr. RHP Sean Harney (2-0, 2.87 ERA)
Game 3: TBA vs. So. RHP Zack Lee (3-2, 3.82 ERA)
Comments From SEC Series Preview Media Session
Ike Cousins Head Coach Scott Stricklin
On the upcoming SEC series with Kentucky
“We’ve got to capitalize on our momentum. I thought we played real well last week at Vanderbilt and against Georgia State Tuesday. We’ve talked about raising expectations, and I feel like we hadn’t been playing up to our potential until we got to Vanderbilt. As a coach, we all do it and look at the schedule and think what we should do this weekend or that weekend and after week four I was hoping for 6-6 or 7-5, that’s where I thought we would be with Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt all being top 10 teams. We’re pretty close to being where we wanted to be, let’s be honest we’d all love to be 12-0 but that’s not realistic. You have to find a way to win your series at home and not get swept on the road. This weekend, we need to take back home field and win a series at home to get us in a good spot being halfway through the league. With the momentum we have, I feel a lot better about where we are now than I did at this time last week.”
Jonathan Cannon, RHP, So.
On being comfortable in the SEC after a delayed start to his season due to illness
“I think part of it was experience, getting my feet wet. One of the challenges was not being able to start at the beginning of the year and get those three or four starts before SEC play started just to work on getting the kinks out and get my rhythm back and my pitches back. I’m a lot more comfortable and confident now. Pitching in the SEC is completely different. Everyone is playing at such a high level. The hitters are so good and you don’t have room for mistakes. I didn’t think I threw horribly against South Carolina, but I made four or five mistakes, and they went over the fence. That’s kind of the difference in a regular start and an SEC start, the hitters will make you pay for mistakes.”
Garrett Blaylock, INF, Sr.
On getting back in the lineup
“I tried to act like I was playing every day and prepare the same way every single day. I got a few opportunities and took advantage of them and had some really good at bats. You hate to have an injury, and you have to be ready for a situation like Josh (McAllister) going down and being ready to go. He’s going to be back in the lineup this weekend, and it will be awesome to have him back. I’m just trying to stay as ready as I can. Growing up, I was kind of a utility player. My dad made that a point with me to learn every position I could. I’ve been taking ground balls at first, second and third and staying as versatile as I can. I feel like I’ll be ready to do whatever I’m called on to do.”