Georgia fans including the Foley Fanatics get to cheer on the Bulldogs Tuesday at Turner Field against Tech.
May 12, 2014
ATHENS-----On Tuesday in Atlanta at 7:07 p.m. (FSN), the Bulldogs face Ga. Tech at Turner Field in the 12th annual Spring Baseball Classic For Kids. The game benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
With the final SEC series starting Thursday, Georgia (25-25-1) will employ a staff night on Tuesday. Senior RHP Dylan Cole (1-0, 3.63) will start. Cole made his first career start in a staff night last week going 1 IP to get a win over Savannah State. He is 1-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 39 career appearances.
Georgia leads the all-time series with Tech at Turner Field 8-3 including a historic 17-0 rout last year in front of a crowd of 18,240. Since 2004, there have been more than 20,000 tickets sold annually for the game that ranks as one of the top neutral site games in college baseball. This year’s contest will be the rubber game of the three-game series. Georgia posted a 1-0 win over Tech in Athens on March 4 while Tech registered a 4-1 victory in Atlanta on April 15. Tech enters the game 29-23.
Georgia (10-16-1 SEC) continues to battle for a spot in the 12-team SEC tournament as the regular season concludes this weekend as it plays host to Kentucky (30-20, 12-15 SEC). Please note the series starts Thursday at 7 p.m. Georgia just finished a 19-game stretch where it played 17 games against ranked opponents. They have played a league-high 29 games against ranked teams. The Bulldogs went 3-3 the last two SEC weekends against #7 South Carolina and SEC Western Division leader #11 Ole Miss.
As a team, Georgia ranks among the SEC leaders offensively in walks (208), but also strikeouts (372). Overall, Georgia is batting .258 with a 4.10 ERA. The Bulldogs have a .968 Fielding Percentage and have turned 50 double plays. In SEC action, Georgia is hitting .235 with a 3.62 ERA and fielding .970.
Junior shortstop Nelson Ward (.311-2-31) ranks fourth in the SEC in walks with 32. He leads the team with 31 RBI. He is one of two Bulldogs along with Conor Welton (OF) to have started all 51 games this season. In the road series against #11 Ole Miss, Ward hit .500 (6-for-12). Overall, Welton is batting .285-1-16. Freshman centerfielder Stephen Wrenn (.256-0-20) ranks fifth in the SEC with a team-best 16 stolen bases. For the year, he is 16-for-20. His speed has been asset on defense too, registering a perfect fielding percentage in 158 total chances including five assists.
Georgia Lineup Missing Key Cogs
Junior 3B Hunter Cole, the team’s top hitter at .326-2-26, missed the Ole Miss series this past weekend due to a rib irritation. He is listed as day-to-day. Cole had started every game this season before being sidelined.
Junior 1B/LHP Jared Walsh, the team’s No. 3 starter and cleanup hitter, has appeared in just 19 games this season including 9 IP. Walsh has missed the last 21 games due to a sore back. In his Bulldog career, Walsh is 3-5, 3.86 ERA, 3 SV in 62.1 IP and batting .251-4-36.
Sophomore RHP/OF Sean McLaughlin, the team’s No. 1 starter, has been limited to just 9.2 IP this season due to a sore arm. It is unlikely he will pitch again this year. However, he has seen action as a DH/RF in 28 games this year with 14 starts. He is batting .263-0-3. He was an All-Freshmen SEC selection in 2013 after going 5-6 with a 3.28 ERA.
Ole Miss Series Recap
Georgia went 1-2 last weekend at #11 Ole Miss, losing 12-2 on Friday, posting an impressive 2-0 win Saturday and falling 2-1 in 10 innings in the rubber game. Freshman Robert Tyler (5-4, 2.57) tossed a three-hit shutout in front of 8,158 in Oxford. It was his first career complete game and first SEC road shutout by a Bulldog in eight years. Tyler shut down the SEC’s top offensive squad with a brilliant performance with no walks and four strikeouts. Sophomore David Sosebee (1-3, 2.85) provided a career-high 7.1 scoreless innings and got a no decision Sunday. Daniel Nichols and Conor Welton provided two-out RBI in the eighth and ninth innings of Saturday's 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: FSN (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Larry Conley, analyst)
Tickets for the Turner Field game can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com) or call 1-800-745-3000. Also, ticket packages are available at www.choa.org/springclassic. Gates will open at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $12 with proceeds benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and its pediatric research of the Children’s Neurosciences Program.