Georgia Plays Host To WKU Tuesday
March 10, 2014
ATHENS-----Winners of eight straight, the Georgia Bulldogs are now 10-6 and return to action Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Foley Field against Western Kentucky (10-5).
During the current winning streak, Georgia’s ERA has been 3.04 with a .304 batting average. Overall, the Bulldogs are batting .277 with a 4.75 ERA. This is Georgia’s longest winning streak since 2012 when the club started out 8-0. One more win would be the longest since the 2009 team began the year 14-0.
The Hilltoppers are batting .277 and boast a 2.94 ERA. WKU’s signature win this year was beating fourth-ranked Vanderbilt 3-2 in Nashville. It was the highest win over a ranked team in the program’s history. This past weekend, they swept Illinois and allowed just six runs. WKU’s closer, junior Ian Thompkins, has six saves and yet to allow a run this season. WKU is coached by Matt Myers, a Tennessee alum who pitched for the Vols from 1996-97. Georgia is 0-2 all-time against WKU, the lone meetings came in 1985.
On Friday, Georgia beings SEC play here with #24 Mississippi State at 7 p.m. MSU, coached by John Cohen, finished 2013 as the College World Series Finalists. They were preseason ranked in the top five this year and have been in the top 20 all season. However, they went to Arizona this past weekend and went 1-4 against the host Wildcats and UC-Santa Barbara. They are batting .278 with a 3.14 ERA. MSU is led by preseason All-America first baseman Wes Rea (.292-3-19) and senior C.T. Bradford (.340-0-10). Saturday's game will be televised by FSN and begin at 12:05 p.m. while Sunday's contest will be a 1 p.m. start.
MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson served as UGA’s pitching coach from 2002-05 and that included a a 2004 SEC title and a trip to the College World Series where the Bulldogs finished tied for third. In records dating back to 1950, Georgia holds a 40-37 edge in the series with MSU. The teams last met in 2011 in Athens, and Georgia posted a three-game sweep.
Georgia Bulldog Notables
*Juniors Hunter Cole (.350-1-10) and Nelson Ward (.311-1-13) are the only two Bulldogs to reach base safely in all 16 games this season. Both have made starts at two different positions this year. Cole has started in left field and third base while Ward has started at shortstop and second base. Ward has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .394 during the current winning streak. He has provided two walk-off wins during the streak, one against Binghamton (RBI-double) and another against North Florida (RBI-single).
*Junior OF Conor Welton (.333-1-7) is batting a team-best .433 during the eight-game winning streak. He registered his first career triple and home run this past weekend. In the past eight games, he is 13-for-30 with six RBI. He has reached base safely in the last 15 games.
*Freshman RHP Robert Tyler (1-0, 0.93) looks to enter the weekend rotation as SEC play gets underway. He has made five appearances including two starts and leads the club with a 0.93 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched. He has 15 strikeouts and only two walks with opponents batting .157 against him. Tyler tossed eight scoreless innings in his last start, a no decision against arch-rival Ga. Tech last Tuesday.
*Senior LHP Patrick Boling (2-1, 2.57) has cemented a spot in the weekend rotation. This past Sunday, he tossed a career-high 7.1 innings in beating Western Carolina 6-2. During the Bulldogs’ winning streak, he is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two starts.
*Junior RHP Jared Cheek (3-2, 4.97) leads the club with five decisions in only 12.2 IP. He has picked up wins in his last three appearances, coming over Binghamton, Ga. Tech and Buffalo, going 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in seven innings. Redshirt sophomore RHP David Sosebee (0-1, 4.32) has combined to toss seven scoreless innings in his last two appearances.
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Play-by-Play: David Johnston, Jeff Dantzler
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Promotions: Multiple during the game.
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