Jared Cheek has notched a pair of saves in his last two appearances.
May 8, 2014
ATHENS-----The Bulldogs head back out on the road for an SEC series against Western Division leading and 11th-ranked Ole Miss (35-14, 15-9 SEC) that starts Friday. The Bulldogs (24-23-1 overall, 9-14-1 SEC) are battling for a spot in the 12-team SEC Tournament.
Last weekend in Athens, Georgia claimed its first SEC series over a top 10 ranked team since 2011. The Bulldogs captured two of three from No. 7 South Carolina. It was Georgia’s first series win over the Gamecocks since 2008. The Bulldogs, under the direction of coach Scott Stricklin, are in 6th place in the SEC Eastern Division and 12th overall.
Georgia leads the Ole Miss series 34-33 in records dating back to 1954. The Bulldogs won a series in Oxford in 2011 and again in Athens in 2012. The teams did not play last year. Georgia snapped an eight-game losing streak this past Friday when sophomore Ryan Lawlor notched his third complete in his last four starts as the Bulldogs beat #7 USC 3-1. The Bulldogs claimed the series with a 5-3 victory on Sunday thanks in part to a career-high six innings from David Sosebee (1-3, 3.30 ERA) and a grand slam from sophomore first baseman Daniel Nichols (.275-2-16). This past Wednesday, Georgia employed 11 pitchers on a staff night and beat Savannah State 4-2.
Georgia is in a stretch where it closes the regular season playing 17 of its final 23 games against ranked opponents. This year, Georgia has played an SEC-high 26 games against ranked teams, going 8-17-1.
Bulldogs To Watch
Junior shortstop Nelson Ward (.298-2-31) ranks third in the SEC in walks with 31. He leads the team with 31 RBI. He is one of three Bulldogs along with junior Hunter Cole (3B) and Conor Welton (OF) to have started all 48 games this season. Junior third baseman Hunter Cole (.326-2-26) leads the team with a .326 average and ranks among the SEC leaders with 14 doubles. In the USC series, Cole batted a team-best .545 (6-for-11). He is batting a team-leading .309 in SEC action.
Freshman centerfielder Stephen Wrenn (.269-0-20) ranks fourth in the SEC with a team-best 16 stolen bases. His speed has been asset on defense too, registering a perfect fielding percentage in 144 total chances including five assists.
Sophomore LHP Ryan Lawlor (4-4, 3.31 ERA), named the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week Monday, and freshman RHP Robert Tyler (4-4, 2.92 ERA) have anchored the SEC rotation this season. The last two Sundays, sophomore David Sosebee (1-3, 3.30 ERA) has rounded out the rotation. Georgia's probable rotation for the Ole Miss series will be Lawlor, Tyler and Sosebee.
Junior Jared Cheek leads the team in decisions at 5-4 with a 4.10 ERA and 2 saves in 18 appearances covering a span of 37.1 IP. Junior Heath Holder has now pitched 6.2 scoreless innings in five appearances this year.
Ole Miss At A Glance
Coach Mike Bianco’s Rebels roared out to a 21-4 start and have won four of their last five SEC series to occupy the top spot in the Western Division. The rotation features a pair of undefeated Rebels in junior RHP Chris Ellis (7-0, 1.90 ERA) and sophomore LHP Christian Trent (7-0, 2.57 ERA). Junior 1B Sikes Orvis (.314-12-39) headlines a potent offense that includes junior CF Auston Bousfield (.368-5-36, 15 SB) who has a 20-game hitting streak. It is the second longest in the SEC this year, trailing only a 27-game streak by Xavier Turner (Vanderbilt). His streak ended against Georgia a couple weeks ago.
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College Play-by-Play: David Johnston, Jeff Dantzler
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