Georgia hits the road for an SEC series with Missouri starting Friday. All three games will be available on SEC Network+.
Georgia (24-25 overall, 8-16 SEC) concluded a school-record 22-game stretch against ranked opponents this past Sunday with a 13-2 win over #7 Ole Miss. The Bulldogs went 8-14 during this gauntlet. They boast the nation’s best strength of schedule and an RPI of No. 30. Currently, Georgia has nine wins over top 25 opponents and that trails only Miss. State (13) and Florida (11) in the SEC.
This past Wednesday in Athens, Georgia blanked Western Carolina 6-0 as six Bulldogs combined on a two-hitter. It was Georgia’s first game against an unranked opponent since March 29. Up next, Georgia travels to Missouri (24-25, 7-17 SEC). The Bulldogs are tied for 10th in the SEC with Auburn while Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas are a game back at 7-17. The top 12 teams advance to the SEC Tournament. Georgia closes out the regular season at home against the Volunteers starting Thursday, May 19.
Georgia is batting .253 with an ERA of 4.59 and fielding .968. In SEC action, the Bulldogs are hitting .259 with a 5.54 ERA and fielding .962. Scott Stricklin coaches the Bulldogs, while the Tigers are led by Tim Jamieson. Missouri holds a 6-3 edge in the series as it began when the Tigers joined the SEC. Georgia’s only series win came in 2014 in Columbia, taking it 2-1. The Tigers are 5-1 in Athens including a sweep last year. Last week, Georgia went 1-2, dropping a home series to #7 Ole Miss. Georgia salvaged the final game of the series with a 13-2 rout of the Rebels, smashing three home runs including a grand slam by senior shortstop Nick King and freshman catcher Michael Curry’s team-leading seventh shot, a three-run-blast. Curry added a solo blast Wednesday against WCU to give him eight on the year. Missouri was swept by No. 3 Miss. State in Starkville last weekend. They were off this week due to exams. In their last home SEC series, the Tigers swept Tennessee to close out the month of April.
Georgia’s leading hitters are juniors Skyler Weber (.316-4-30, 10 SB) and Stephen Wrenn (.293-4-23, 11 SB). Weber has made 34 starts in right field, 14 at catcher and one as a designated hitter. Wrenn has started 45 games in centerfield. The Bulldog lineup will be missing senior DH Daniel Nichols (.252-6-19). He is out with a concussion after getting injured before last Saturday’s game.
Georgia’s rotation for the Missouri series will be junior Robert Tyler (3-5, 3.98 ERA), junior LHP Connor Jones (5-5, 4.84 ERA) and TBA. The Tigers counter with sophomore RHP Tanner Houck (4-5, 3.06 ERA) and redshirt senior RHP Reggie McClain (4-3, 4.18 ERA) and TBA. Tyler, a projected first round draft pick this year, was lifted after four innings and six runs in his last start, a 6-4 loss to the Rebels on Friday. Houck is a projected first rounder in 2017.
Meanwhile, Bulldog senior RHP Heath Holder (3-3, 3.19 ERA) who leads the SEC in lowest opponent’s batting average at .162 and ranks fourth nationally in fewest hits allowed per nine innings, carried a no-hitter to the sixth in a win over #7 Ole Miss this past Sunday. Holder struck out seven in seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits to help Georgia snap a five-game losing streak. Holder and sophomore LHP Bo Tucker (3-4, 3.53 ERA) are potential Sunday starters if they don’t pitch in relief. Georgia also got freshman LHP Kevin Smith (4-1, 4.79 ERA) back this week.
Follow The Action: Here are the video links for the upcoming road series with Missouri.
Friday 7 pm ET http://es.pn/1SOdPKT
Sat. 3 pm ET http://es.pn/1ruOTBm
Sun. 2 pm ET http://es.pn/1VK1LQw
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (David Johnston/Jeff Dantzler); 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