Bulldogs Open Season At GSU Friday
All-SEC third baseman Curt Powell helped Georgia set a school record with a .978 Fielding Percentage in 2012.


All-SEC third baseman Curt Powell helped Georgia set a school record with a .978 Fielding Percentage in 2012.
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Feb. 14, 2013

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ATHENS----- Georgia opens the 2013 season at Georgia Southern Friday at 6 p.m.  The Bulldogs last opened a season on the road in 2011 when it went to Stetson for a three-game set. Georgia went 31-26 last year and saw its season end at the SEC Tournament. Meanwhile, the Eagles posted a 33-27 mark and ended their year at the Southern Conference Tournament.

Fast Facts On The Bulldog Lineup and Rotation

Georgia welcomes back five starters and seven pitchers from last season headlined by senior All-SEC third baseman Curt Powell (.355-2-20, 12 SB), senior Kyle Farmer (.302-4-41) who served as the Team USA shortstop this past summer and outfielder Hunter Cole (.276-7-23) who earned Freshman All-America honors in 2012. 

Rotation: Freshman right-hander Sean McLaughlin draws the Opening Day start. He would be the first true freshman Bulldog pitcher to start Opening Day in records dating back to 1972. McLaughlin is slated to see action as an outfielder in the series too. Redshirt junior left-hander Patrick Boling (1-2, 5.62 ERA in 2011) will start Saturday and sophomore right-hander Luke Crumley (3-2, 3.86 ERA in 2012) goes on Sunday.

New Faces: The probable Opening Day lineup will feature seven veterans and two freshmen in the batting order.  Freshmen Daniel Nichols (DH) and J.T. Phillips (1B) will make their Bulldog debut and look for Zack Bowers (C) to see action during the series too.

Coaching Staff: David Perno begins his 12th season at the helm and 17th overall at UGA. He has guided the Bulldogs to six NCAA appearances with three trips to the College Word Series including the CWS Finals in 2008. Perno's assistants are Jason Eller (11th season), Allen Osborne (third season) and Jason Jacobs (third season).

About GSU: The Eagles, under the direction of Rodney Hennon, have been picked to finish fifth in the Southern Conference according to voting by league coaches and media. GSU has 19 returning lettermen including nine starters (seven position, two from the rotation). The reigning SoCon Freshman of the Year is back in catcher Chase Griffin (.320-10-42) along with senior outfielder Scooter Williams (.290-2-25, 22 SB). The top pitchers are senior RHP Justin Hess (5-3, 3.76 ERA) and senior closer Kyle Rowe (6-2, 4.41 ERA, 6 SV).

The Series: Since 1950, Georgia holds a 45-27-1 edge in the series. The teams last met in 2005. The team split a two-game set in Athens (GSU 4-1, UGA 7-4{10}) while the Eagles claimed a 9-4 decision in Statesboro, and then the second game was "rained out."

Probable Starting Pitchers For The GSU Series

Friday @ 6 p.m. ET

UGA: Sean McLaughlin, RHP, Fr. vs. GSU Justin Hess, RHP, Sr.

Saturday @ 2:30 p.m. ET

UGA: Patrick Boling, LHP, RJr., vs. GSU Sam Howard, LHP, So.

Sunday @ 1:30 p.m. ET 

UGA: Luke Crumley, RHP, So., vs. GSU Jason Richman, LHP, Fr.

Radio/TV Information:

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College

Play-by-Play: Jeff Dantzler, David Johnston

Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), georgiadogs.com/allaccess via GTV

Video Stream: www.gseagles.com

Did You Know? During his career, the legendary Ron Polk once served as the head coach at Georgia and Georgia Southern. He led both programs to the College World Series, plus he did it while at Miss. State. Polk led Georgia to an SEC title and the CWS in 2001 while taking the Eagles to Omaha in 1973. GSU's only other trip to Omaha came in 1990, the year the Bulldogs won it under Steve Webber while Polk's MSU team eliminated the Eagles. Polk is now a volunteer assistant at UAB, and they will visit Georgia for a three-games series March 1-3.

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