UGA vs Vandy Baseball Game Notes: The Bulldogs are close to wrapping up a school-record 22-game stretch against ranked opponents by traveling to Nashville to take the sixth-ranked Commodores (31-10, 10-8 SEC) for an SEC series starting Friday.
The Bulldogs are 7-9 during this portion of their schedule after crushing No. 25 Ga. Tech 13-5 in Athens Tuesday. After the VU series, Georgia plays host to No. 9 Ole Miss next week to complete the toughest stretch in school history.
Georgia’s strength of schedule ranks among the best in the country. Overall, the Bulldogs are 8-11 against ranked teams this year and their RPI (currently No. 28 by the NCAA) continues to climb. The Bulldogs are eyeing a spot in the SEC Tournament and an overall mark above .500 to qualify for an NCAA Regional at-large bid. The Bulldogs were in a similar spot in 2011 and accomplished this feat. They finished the regular season 28-29 (16-14 SEC) and went 3-1 at the SEC Tournament. They earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Corvallis (Ore.) Regional and went 2-2 to cap the year with a 33-32 mark. Last year, Auburn earned an NCAA at-large bid after going 13-17 in the SEC (34-22 regular season) with an RPI in the 20s.
Series Preview: The Bulldogs lead the Vanderbilt series 97-88, however the No. 6 Commodores have won eight straight over Georgia. The last time the Bulldogs captured a series over VU came in 2008 when it clinched the SEC title in Nashville. Georgia won the series two games to one. Vanderbilt dropped a road series to Tennessee last weekend, winning the opener 6-0 behind ace Jordan Sheffield (6-2, 2.54 ERA) but then lost the next two contests 2-1 and 5-3. They beat Austin Peay 8-5 Tuesday. All three games will be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldogs Sports Network from IMG College.
Georgia’s leading hitters are juniors Skyler Weber (.306-2-23, 10 SB) and Stephen Wrenn (.293-3-20, 10 SB) while the RBI leader is sophomore Keegan McGovern (.264-5-27) who also has a team-high 32 walks. In SEC action, Wrenn is batting .333-3-8 while King is next at .323-1-8. Georgia is batting .252 with an ERA of 4.39 and fielding .968. In SEC action, the Bulldogs are hitting .261 with a 5.11 ERA and fielding .960.
Pitching Matchups: Junior Robert Tyler (3-3, 2.53 ERA) headlines the Bulldog pitching staff with 71 strikeouts in 57 innings. Senior Heath Holder (2-2, 2.64 ERA) leads the SEC in lowest opponent’s batting average at .152 while Tyler is second at .177. Tyler and junior LHP Connor Jones (5-3, 5.01 ERA) will start the first two games of the VU series while game three’s starter is TBA. VU will start Sheffield in game one, sophomore Kyle Wright (4-3, 1.88 ERA) in game two and game three is TBA.
Did You Know? One of the most bizarre Bulldog streaks of the season involves home runs. Georgia has smacked 21 consecutive solo shots. The Bulldogs have hit 30 home runs for the year (26 solo), and the last time a runner was on base for a homer came on March 8 in the 13th game of the season. Freshman catcher Michael Curry delivered a pinch-hit, three-run blast against Charlotte at BB&T Ballpark.
Follow The Action: Here are the video links for the upcoming series at Vanderbilt.
April 29-May 1 @ #6 Vanderbilt, 7:30/3/2 pm ET (SECN+)
Fri. Link: http://es.pn/1VC2aop
Sat. Link: http://es.pn/1We5VyJ
Sun. Link: http://es.pn/1SttgKk
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