Georgia Opens SEC Play Friday Against Miss. State
March 13, 2014
ATHENS-----Winners of 10 straight, Georgia is now 12-6 entering SEC play under coach Scott Stricklin and open SEC play Friday versus No. 24 Miss. State (13-7). First pitch at Foley Field will be at 7 p.m.
This is Georgia's longest winning streak since the 2009 team began the year 14-0. During the current streak, Georgia's ERA is 3.42 with a .333 batting average. Overall, the Bulldogs are batting .297 with a 4.78 ERA. Saturday's game will be at 12:05 p.m. and televised by FSN while Sunday's game will be a 1 p.m. start.
*Juniors Hunter Cole (.377-1-11) and Nelson Ward (.290-1-15) are the only two Bulldogs to reach base safely in all 18 games this season. Cole has a seven-game hitting streak. Both have made starts at two different positions this year. Cole has 10 starts at third base and 8 in left field while Ward has started 16 games shortstop and two at second base. Cole is batting .333 (13-39, 4 RBI) during the streak. Ward had a nine-game hitting streak end Wednesday. He is batting .341 (14-41, 10 RBI) 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 (.361-1-10) is batting a team-best .452 during the streak. He registered his first career triple and home run this past weekend. In the past 10 games, he is 19-for-42 with nine RBI. He has reached base safely in the last 17 games.
*SEC Rotation: Sophomore LHP Ryan Lawlor (1-1, 6.61) draws the Friday night start. It will be his fifth start of the year. Georgia's SEC Friday night starter last year, Sean McLaughlin, will not pitch this weekend to rest his arm. However, the sophomore is available to play as he has made eight appearances as an OF/DH with two starts. McLaughlin earned Freshman All-SEC honors after going 5-6, 3.28 in 13 starts in 2013. MSU will go with senior RHP Ben Bracewell (2-1, 1.74) on Friday.
Freshman RHP Robert Tyler (1-0, 0.93) will start Saturday. He has made five appearances including two starts and leads the club with a 0.93 ERA in 19.1 IP. 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 on March 4th. MSU will start junior RHP Trevor Fitts (2-0, 3.92)
Senior LHP Patrick Boling (2-1, 2.57) will start on Sunday. In his last action, he tossed a career-high 7.1 innings in beating Western Carolina 6-2. During the streak, he is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two starts. MSU has yet to announce a starter for Sunday.
*Junior RHP Jared Cheek (3-2, 4.61) leads the club with five decisions in only 13.2 IP. He has picked up wins in three of his last four relief appearances with a 1.12 ERA in that stretch than spans eight innings. The wins came over Binghamton, Ga. Tech and Buffalos. Redshirt sophomore RHP David Sosebee (0-1, 3.93) has combined to toss 8.2 scoreless innings in his last three relief appearances.
Home Sweet Home Has Bulldogs On Their Way
The Georgia crew registered two wins over Western Kentucky earlier this week including a 26-7 rout featuring 20 singles and two HRs (both by Zack Bowers) for an 11-1 mark on the current 16-game homestand at Foley Field.
The Other Bulldogs: MSU At A Glance
Coached by John Cohen, MSU comes to Athens 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA, a .276 Batting Average and a .985 Fielding Percentage. They finished 2013 as the CWS Finalists and were preseason ranked in the top five to start this season. However, they went to Arizona last weekend and went 1-4 against the host Wildcats and UC-Santa Barbara to take a dip in the rankings. MSU is led by All-America 1B Wes Rea (.309-3-19), senior OF C.T. Bradford (.333-0-10) and All-American closer Jonathan Holder (1-1, 3.38, 1 SV). 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. Did You Know? Like the Georgia baseball coach, the MSU athletic director is named Scott Stricklin.
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College
Play-by-Play: David Johnston, Jeff Dantzler
Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), georgiadogs.com/allaccess via GTV
TV: Friday and Sunday available online via streaming through GTV
Saturday on FSN (Dave Baker, Play-by-Play, Rusty Ensor, Color Analyst)
Ticket Information: Single game Reserved seats at Foley Field: $8 each; General Admission: $5 apiece and can be purchased online. Georgia ticket office (877-542-1231) between 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday. UGA students admitted free with their valid UGA Student ID card. UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street.
Promotions: Multiple during the game.
Special Giveaways: Saturday: First 1,000 fans receive Georgia Beard Beanies; Sunday: First 1,000 fans receive Green St. Patrick's Day Georgia Baseball t-shirt
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