Georgia (4-3) returns to action Tuesday for a two-game set with the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (3-3) at Foley Field. First pitch both days will be at 5 p.m. The UGA-CSU series will be available on SEC Network+ and on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
Series Fast Facts
Georgia is 7-0 all-time against CSU with the first meeting coming in 1996, a 5-2 win in Athens. All seven wins have been at Foley Field, sweeping a three-game set in 2001, a two-game series in 2011 and then a single game in 2014.
The Buccaneers are 3-3, after going 1-2 to open the year against West Virginia. Last weekend, CSU claimed a series from Butler 2-1, missing out on a sweep when the Bulldogs posted a 4-3 win in 11 innings.
The Georgia series will be CSU’s first road trip of the season. The Bucs, coached by Stuart Lake, were picked to finish seventh in the Big South this year by league coaches.
Offensively, Georgia sophomore left fielder Keegan McGovern leads the way at .367-3-11 including hitting safely in all seven games this season. A Freshman All-SEC selection in 2015, he’s already matched his home run total from his rookie year when he batted .268-3-17 in 48 games. McGovern and senior designated hitter Daniel Nichols, who provided a walk-off RBI-single in last Saturday’s 10-inning win over Cincinnati, are the only Bulldogs to start all seven games in the same position this season. Eleven freshmen have seen action for the Bulldogs including five making starts in the field and one on the mound.
Georgia went 2-2 last week, winning its first road game, a 7-6 thriller in 10 innings at Mercer that lasted four hours and 19 minutes. The Bears loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth, and the Bulldogs behind freshman right-handerBlakeley Brown forced extra frames. Brown had three strikeouts over the final 1.2 innings for his first career win. The go-ahead run scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman Logan Moody, bringing in freshman LJ Talley who led off with a walk. Georgia’s bullpen tossed 7.2 innings, allowing just one wind-aided solo home run with 10 strikeouts. Georgia returned home and went 1-2 in the Bulldog Invitational, dropping a pitching duel to South Alabama (3-1), edging Cincinnati 7-6 in 10 innings and then losing a marathon to Western Kentucky 8-7 in a contest that saw six lead changes and lasted 3:54.
Georgia’s pitching staff is a work in progress after six pitchers signed professional contracts last June, and that group accounted for 20 wins, six saves and 319 innings pitched. The 2015 club finished 26-28 with a 3.96 ERA. The 2016 staff has a 3.68 ERA, and while it has 80 strikeouts in 66 innings, the Bulldogs have issued 37 walks and 16 wild pitches. Eight pitchers have made their Bulldog debut this year. Georgia’s offense looks to improve too as the Bulldogs are batting only .230.
For the CSU series, Georgia will start a pair of junior left-handers in Connor Jones (0-0, 19.29 ERA) and Andrew Gist(1-0, 1.29 ERA). Jones struggled with his command in his starting debut last week at Mercer. Gist will make his first start as a Bulldog Wednesday after three effective relief outings. CSU has not announced its rotation for the series.
The ace of Georgia’s staff is junior Robert Tyler (1-1, 0.82 ERA), a preseason All-American, who has registered an SEC-leading 21 strikeouts and only one walk in 11 innings pitched this year. He was on the short end of a 3-1 decision to South Alabama this past Friday, going six innings and allowing one run on two hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. Opponents are batting just .083 against him. He was dominating in an Opening Day start, registering a career-high 13 strikeouts (12 swinging) in only five innings of work in a 5-1 win over Ga. Southern. Tyler was among the players honored by Collegiate Baseball as Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week from the Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, senior RHP Heath Holder has moved in to the rotation this year, and in his first two career starts, he is 0-0 with a 2.53 ERA. Freshman LHP Kevin Smith (1-0, 1.86 ERA) has been the Sunday starter for the first two weekends.
TV: SEC Network +: (Friday: Matt Stewart/Jason Jacobs)
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 and via the Georgia Bulldogs app and TuneIn app.
Additional Coverage on Twitter: @BaseballUGA
Video Links For Georgia-CSU Series (March 1-2)
Tues. at 5 pm ET on SEC Network+
Wed. at 5 pm ET on SEC Network+
FOLEY FIELD TICKET INFORMATION
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; Note: UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street; Foley Field Ticket Booth opens two hours before game time.