April 17, 2014
ATHENS-----Georgia (21-15-1, 7-7-1 SEC) resumes conference play Friday at SEC Eastern Division-leading No. 9 Florida (24-13, 9-6 SEC). Last year, Georgia won an SEC series over Florida 2-1 in Athens to close out the season. Most recently, the Gators claimed a road series over fourth-ranked South Carolina and registered a win over Florida Gulf Coast this past Tuesday. The Bulldogs have won three straight SEC series including No. 23 Tennessee last week in Athens after the Vols were coming off a series win over fourth-ranked Vanderbilt.
Georgia is in third place in the SEC Eastern Division behind UF (9-6) and USC (8-7). All three games of the UF series will be televised, the first two on CSS and Sunday's contest will be on ESPNU.
Through 15 SEC games, Georgia has the Most Improved League Record of any SEC team from a year ago. Georgia's SEC Win/Loss differential is +4.5 and that ranks as the best. Last year, Georgia was 3-12 after the first half of SEC action, and this year the Bulldogs are 7-7-1.
Georgia is closing the regular season playing 21 of its final 23 games against ranked opponents. Georgia is 6-10-1 against top 25 teams this year.
Georgia coach Scott Stricklin is 3-1 all-time against the Gators while coaching at Kent State. The signature win came at the 2012 College World Series when Kent State eliminated top-ranked Florida 5-4. He is in his first season leading the Bulldogs.
Inside The Numbers
Overall this year, the Bulldogs are batting .258 with a 3.93 ERA and fielding .971 including turning 36 double plays (2nd only in the SEC to 37 by Arkansas). Georgia has drawn an SEC-leading 178 walks but also has a league-high 272 strikeouts.
In the SEC, the Bulldogs rank second in pitching and fielding with a 2.64 ERA and a .976 FDLG%.
Bulldogs To Watch
Junior 3B/OF Hunter Cole leads the club with a .322 average, 13 doubles and two home runs. Junior SS Nelson Ward (.291-2-25) has a team-best 25 RBI and ranks among the SEC leaders with 26 BB. Ward, Cole and junior Conor Welton (.299-1-15) are the only three Bulldogs to start all 37 games this year.
Freshman CF Stephen Wrenn (.273-0-17).has a team-high 13 stolen bases (3rd in SEC) and collected his fifth assist on the year last Saturday to go with perfect fielding in 111 total chances.
In SEC action, Georgia's top hitter has been junior 1B Daniel Nichols at .324-1-4. He hit .400 with two RBI against the Vols to boost his average to .289. For the year, he is batting .287-1-12.
Sophomore LHP Ryan Lawlor (3-2, 3.44 ERA) notched his first complete game of his career this past Friday, defeating #23 Tennessee 4-1. He allowed a run in the first inning and then blanked the Vols there rest of the way with a career-high 10 strikeouts. In five SEC starts, Lawlor is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 36 IP with 34 strikeouts. He will start Friday.
Freshman RHP Robert Tyler (4-2, 1.56 ERA) continues to impress as he picked up another league win this past Saturday versus #23 Tennessee to clinch the series. In five SEC starts, Tyler is 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 32.2 IP with 28 strikeouts. He will start Saturday.
Ticket Information on Bulldog Game At Coolray Field: Kennesaw State vs. Georgia on April 22
After a one-year hiatus, college baseball is making a return to Coolray Field this spring. The home of the Gwinnett Braves in Lawrenceville, Georgia will play host to Kennesaw State on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/youths, and they are on sale at the Coolray Field Ticket Office and online at gwinnettbraves.com. The Coolray Field Ticket Office is (678) 277-0340.
This will be the first collegiate game to be played at Coolray Field since 2012. Georgia and KSU also met there in 2012, while in 2011, the Bulldogs battled Alabama for a midweek contest. UGA came away with victories in both games, downing the Owls 3-2 and the Crimson Tide 6-3.
The April 22 game will be the second time the teams have squared off in 2014. On Feb. 18, the Owls posted a 10-7 win at Foley Field. The Bulldogs built an early lead but the Owls jumped ahead 5-3 in the fifth behind a three-run home run from Chris McGowan. Georgia answered in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on an RBI double by Zack Bowers. However, the Owls scored five runs in the last two innings and held off a late charge by the Bulldogs to take the victory.
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: CSS on Friday at 7:30 pm and available on ESPN3: http://es.pn/1ewEZSv
Saturday at 7 p.m. (Bernie Guenther, PxP; Rusty Ensor, Analayst)
Sunday: ESPNU at Noon (Tom Hart, PxP; Mike Rooney & Gabe Gross, Analysts) and available on Watch ESPN http://es.pn/1ewF3St
UGA Season Stats Link: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2013-2014/teamcume.html