April 7, 2011
ATHENS-----The 30th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs return to action Friday when it begins an SEC series against Ole Miss in Oxford.
The Bulldogs (16-14, 6-3 SEC) are riding a five-game winning streak thanks to a stellar pitching staff that has posted a 1.40 ERA in this stretch. Last weekend, Georgia swept 24th-ranked Mississippi State and then followed that up with a two-game sweep of Charleston Southern, outscoring these opponents by a combined score of 23-8. The Rebels (19-11, 4-5 SEC) dropped a league series at 17th-ranked LSU and fell 9-2 to Memphis this past Tuesday for a 1-3 mark in their last four games.
Georgia has played one of the nation's toughest schedules, and this week's NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) had the Bulldogs at No. 16. Georgia has played an SEC-high 18 games against ranked opponents and it is 9-9 in these contests.
Georgia's SEC Earned Run Average (ERA) is 2.14 and that's come against fourth-ranked South Carolina, ninth-ranked LSU and 24th-ranked Mississippi State. The Bulldogs will employ the same rotation this weekend against the Rebels as in previous SEC series with sophomore Alex Wood on Friday and juniors Michael Palazzone and Craig Gullickson on Saturday and Sunday. This Bulldog trio is a combined 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA in league action this year.
Georgia features the national saves leader in Tyler Maloof who is 11-for-11 in save chances this year. Overall, the Bulldogs have 13 saves in their 16 wins. The other two saves belong to sophomore Blake Dieterich and senior Eric Swegman. Georgia will be without Swegman this weekend due to a right shoulder injury. Swegman was involved in a scooter accident on campus Thursday morning. He collected his first career save Wednesday against Charleston Southern. Offensively, Georgia is led by sophomore shortstop Kyle Farmer who has a team-high 29 RBI and an eight-game hitting streak. After just one home run in the first two SEC series, Georgia hit four in the sweep of MSU. The blasts came from Farmer, first baseman Jonathan Hester and two by sophomore designated hitter Brett DeLoach.
Ole Miss holds a 31-30 edge in the series history with the Bulldogs. All three games can be heard on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College. Locally, they will be broadcast on WRFC 960 AM and as premium content on www.georgiadogs.com. Live stats will be available on www.georgiadogs.com.
SEC Pitching Matchups: UGA-Ole Miss
Friday @ Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. ET
UGA: Alex Wood (3-3, 3.40 ERA), So., LHP
OM: Matt Crouse (6-1, 2.33 ERA), Jr., LHP
Saturday @ Ole Miss, 3:06 p.m. ET (SportSouth-TV)
UGA: Michael Palazzone (4-1, 2.14 ERA), Jr., RHP
OM: David Goforth (1-4, 3.32 ERA), Jr., RHP
Sunday @ Ole Miss, 2:30 p.m. ET
UGA: Craig Gullickson (3-1, 4.38 ERA), Jr., LHP
OM: Austin Wright (3-3, 3.96 ERA)