With only a month left to play, the Georgia baseball team faces an uncertain future as they close the season with one of the hardest remaining schedules in the country.
First, the team heads to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the No. 1 ranked Razorbacks for a three-game series. Georgia will then head to play rival, No. 10 Florida on the road at the brand-new Florida Ballpark. The Bulldogs will then close the regular season at home with a three-game set against No. 12 Ole Miss from May 20 to May 22.
It feels like Georgia has been in a similar situation before. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs dropped a mid-week game they were expected to win against Georgia Southern before heading to then top-ranked Vanderbilt. Of course, Georgia then shocked the college baseball world by winning two out of three games in Nashville behind an offensive explosion.
Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said the two situations are comparable.
“It is very similar to where we were about a month ago, going up to Nashville,” said Stricklin in a Zoom press conference on Wednesday. “It’s us against the world, I guess. We’ll just have to play really good baseball and do everything we can to win a series.”
Georgia will change up its pitching rotation this weekend, taking advantage of added rest resulting from no mid-week matchup. Freshman Liam Sullivan will make his first career start on Friday night in the opening game of the series. Jonathan Cannon will continue in his role as the Saturday starter, followed by Ryan Webb on Sunday. Webb’s night ended prematurely last Thursday against Auburn because of back tightness.
Stricklin said Webb could probably pitch Friday, but they wanted to be cautious and give him two extra days of rest. Sullivan is coming off of his most impressive outing of the year, throwing four scoreless innings with five strikeouts last Saturday against Auburn. The Bulldogs will need Sullivan to be at his best because Arkansas possesses one of the best offenses in the country.
Baseball America currently projects Georgia as one of the last four teams in the NCAA Field of 64. The Bulldogs would be a 3-seed in the Greenville, North Carolina regional with Eastern Carolina University hosting. This again shows how important these last three series’ will be for Georgia. If UGA can win two of the three remaining series, it should be a safe bet they will make it to postseason play. Nonetheless, it will be a difficult job to do.
“Our guys know what’s at stake,” said Stricklin. “This team I think belongs in the postseason, but we’ve got to prove it.”