Georgia Plays Host To Florida Thursday
May 16, 2013
ATHENS----The Georgia Bulldogs finish the regular season at home with the Florida Gators starting Thursday at 7 p.m. Game two of the series will be Friday at 7 p.m. and it concludes on Saturday with first pitch at 2:08 p.m. (WSB-TV).
The Gators (28-25, 13-14 SEC) dropped a home series to Auburn last weekend while the Bulldogs were swept at 15th-ranked South Carolina. This past Tuesday, Georgia claimed the season series with rival Georgia Tech, erasing a seven-run deficit and outlasted the Yellow Jackets 14-13 in 11 innings in Atlanta. The Gators were off this week. Saturday's season finale will be televised by WSB-TV, Channel 2 in Atlanta, and the Bulldogs will honor their seven seniors that day: Bryan Benzor, Brett DeLoach, Blake Dieterich, Kyle Farmer, Curt Powell and now student assistants Johnathan Taylor and Chance Veazey.
Georgia (19-31, 5-19 SEC) is batting .279 overall with a 4.67 ERA and fielding .974. The Gators are batting .272 with a 3.90 ERA and .976 fielding percentage. Georgia last won a series over Florida in 2006, sweeping the Gators in Gainesville. Since then, Florida has won 16 of the past 20 meetings. The Bulldogs last home series win over UF was 2001 (2-1). Most recently, the Gators took the 2012 series in Gainesville 2-1. Game one of that series featured a 16-inning marathon that lasted four hours and 56 minutes, the longest contest by time in Georgia history. UF emerged with a 3-2 victory while Georgia bounced back with a 5-3 win and UF claimed the series with a 6-3 decision in the rubber game.
Bulldog Hitters To Watch
Bulldog senior third baseman Curt Powell ranks among the SEC batting leaders with a .390 average and 80 hits this year. His .390 average is the highest by a Bulldog since 2008 when first round pick Gordon Beckham hit .411 and led the nation with 28 home runs. Powell has had 24 multiple-hit games including 10 three-hit games, one four-hit game and one five-hit game this year. He is one of only two Bulldogs to start all 50 games this season, the other is sophomore OF Hunter Cole (.307-4-32). Powell owns a .345 career average, appearing in 166 games for the Bulldogs including 160 starts. Powell is hitting a team-best .351 in SEC action this year.
Senior Kyle Farmer (.289-3-43) has a chance to close out his career with the highest fielding percentage by a Bulldog shortstop and set another mark for highest in a season. Last year, he set a record with a .970 fielding percentage in 266 total chances and this year he is fielding at a .976 clip in 254 total chances. For his career which spans 209 games including 208 starts, Farmer owns a .968 fielding percentage in 1,029 total chances. Meanwhile, sophomore second baseman Nelson Ward (.314-2-18) may set a school record for fielding percentage as he carries a .987 mark. The current mark for a second baseman in a season is .983 set by Levi Hyams in 2011. The team's .974 mark is second only to the record .978 posted by the 2012 club.
Sophomore two-way standout Jared Walsh has been a regular in the Bulldog lineup, seeing time in the outfield/DH/first base and now as a starting pitcher. He is 2-4 with a 3.21 ERA and three saves in 16 games including four starts. As a position player, he has made 42 starts and owns a .292 batting average with two home runs and 24 RBI. In last Tuesday's road win over Tech, Walsh posted a career-high four RBI, tying the game in the seventh with a two-out RBI double, giving the Bulldogs the lead in the eighth on a two-out, two-run single, and then the go-ahead SF in the 11th to win it.
Probable Pitching Matchups: Georgia vs. Florida
G51 Blake Dieterich (Sr., LHP, 2-3, 3.50) vs. Jonathon Crawford (3-6, 4.28), RHP, Jr.
G52 Sean McLaughlin (Fr., RHP, 4-6, 3.49) vs. Bobby Poyner (3-2, 3.98), LHP, So.
G53 Jared Walsh (So., LHP, 2-4, 3.21) vs. TBA
Aiming To Make SEC Tournament Field
With this the final SEC series, the Bulldogs are looking to pass Tennessee and Missouri in the standings to make next week's 12-team SEC Tournament field. The Bulldogs are 5-19 (.208) while UT is 7-18 (.280) and UM is 8-19 (.296). Georgia has the tiebreaker over UT but not with the Tigers. The field is determined by SEC winning percentage. This week, all three are at home: Georgia has UF; UT has Texas A&M and UM has Kentucky.
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College
Play-by-Play: Jeff Dantzler, David Johnston
Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), georgiadogs.com/allaccess via GTV
TV: www.georgiadogs.com on Thursday & Friday; WSB on Saturday: (Bob Neal, Chuck Dowdle, Zach Klein)
Ticket Information: 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.
Thursday, 7 p.m.: First 1,000 fans receive Silicone Sports Watch.
Friday, 7 p.m.: First 1,000 fans receive Georgia rope baseball necklace; Also during Friday's game it will be Military Appreciation Night with pictures on the video board displayed of active duty or veteran military members.
Saturday, 2:08 p.m. (WSB-TV): Senior Day, Bulldogs will honor their seven seniors: Bryan Benzor, Brett DeLoach, Blake Dieterich, Kyle Farmer, Curt Powell, Johnathan Taylor and Chance Veazey; First 400 fans receive Georgia Sunglasses
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