Nelson Ward is batting .309 with a team-leading 29 RBI and 30 walks.
April 28, 2014
ATHENS-----The calendar turns to May this week, and that's good news for the Bulldogs as they finally return to Foley Field for two of the final three SEC weekends. Georgia (21-22-1, 7-13-1) spent almost the entire month of April on the road as it had just three home games, winning a series over Tennessee. Most recently, Georgia has lost eight straight including road series at ninth-ranked Florida and 25th-ranked Vanderbilt.
This week, Georgia does not have any midweek games due to final exams. Up next, Georgia plays host to nationally-ranked South Carolina (34-11, 12-9 SEC) starting Friday at 7 p.m. USC leads the all-time series 56-38 in records dating back to 1950. USC swept the series last year in Columbia while the teams split a rain-shortened series in Athens in 2012. One major Bulldog highlight in the rivalry with the Gamecocks came in 2006 when Georgia captured an NCAA Super Regional title over South Carolina at Foley Field to advance to the College World Series.
Georgia will hold its annual Lettermen's Weekend during the USC series including on Saturday honoring the 2004 College World Series squad that won the SEC Championship. That team finished tied for third nationally with a 45-23 record. Saturday's game will be on CSS at 1:05 pm ET and Sunday's game will be at 1 p.m.
As a team, Georgia ranks among the league leaders offensively in walks (196), but also strikeouts (338). Overall, Georgia is batting .256 with a 4.25 ERA. The Bulldogs have a .968 Fielding Percentage and have turned 42 double plays. In SEC action, Georgia is hitting .228 with a 3.69 ERA and fielding .970.
Junior shortstop Nelson Ward (.309-2-29) ranks second in the SEC in walks with 30. He leads the team with 29 RBI. He is one of three Bulldogs along with junior Hunter Cole (3B) and Conor Welton (OF) to have started all 44 games this season. Ward hit .417 (5-for-12) in the UF series and led the team against 25th-ranked Vanderbilt with a .500 average (4-for-8,2 RBI, 4 BB).
Freshman centerfielder Stephen Wrenn (.265-0-19) ranks third in the SEC with a team-best 15 stolen bases. For the year, he is 15-for-19. His speed has been asset on defense too, registering a perfect fielding percentage in 131 total chances including five assists.
Scouting The Gamecocks
South Carolina is 34-11 overall and 12-9 in the SEC. They are hitting .286 for the year with a .359 on-base percentage and a .383 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks rank fourth in the league in hitting. The Gamecocks own a SEC-best 2.05 ERA in 409.0 innings. South Carolina is fielding .975 as a team. USC is in second place in the SEC Eastern Division and in fifth place overall. Junior right-hander Joel Seddon is 2-1 with a 0.58 ERA and an SEC-leading 12 saves. Junior catcher Grayson Greiner is hitting .333 with 29 runs scored and a team-high 42 RBI. Greiner ranks third in the SEC in RBI.
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
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.
2004 College World Series Team/SEC Champions honored and Special Awards presented Saturday
Special Promotions This Series:
Saturday Only: The first 750 fans will receive a replica Georgia Baseball hat.
Have a Catch Saturday: After the game, fans will have the opportunity to play catch in the outfield for 30 minutes.
Sunday Only: "May the 4th Be With You:" Star Wars-themed costume contest between innings and after the game, Star Wars Episode IV will be shown on the videoboard.
Anthem Buddies: All kids 12 and under are invited to stand on the field next to their favorite Bulldog during the national anthem. Postgame: Autograph Session, Kids Run The Bases.
UGA Season Stats Link: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2013-2014/teamcume.html