Georgia-Auburn Series Begins Thursday At Foley Field

ATHENS ------The No. 20 Georgia Bulldogs resume Southeastern Conference action here Thursday against Auburn. First pitch is set for 7:02 p.m. ET and be available on the SEC Network and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

Georgia (26-14, 9-9 SEC) has won its last three SEC series including two of those on the road. Three weeks ago in Nashville, the Bulldogs crushed top-ranked Vanderbilt, outscoring them 25-8 to claim that series 2-1. Then, the Bulldogs dropped the opening game to Kentucky in Athens and Missouri in Columbia before coming back to win those series.

Georgia began this week with a 7-5 home loss to rival Ga. Tech while Auburn did not have a midweek game due to exams. The Tigers (17-20, 3-15 SEC) are looking for their first SEC series win. Ten of Auburn’s SEC games this year have been decided by one run, and they are 2-8 in those contests. Georgia has had its share of close games in 2021. The Bulldogs are 7-3 in one-run contests (2-1 in SEC) and 3-0 in extra innings (1-0 in SEC). Georgia has posted seven walk-off wins this year, the most by a Bulldog squad since 2001 when the SEC Champions registered 10 under Ron Polk en route to the College World Series.

The Georgia-Auburn series goes back to 1897, and the Tigers lead 149-134-3. The teams last met in Auburn in 2019, and the Bulldogs won the series 2-1. Auburn won the last series in Athens 2-1 in 2017.

Georgia is hitting .277 with 47 home runs. Auburn is batting .290 as a team and ranks fifth nationally in home runs with 59. On the mound, the Bulldogs sport a 3.69 Earned Run Average while Auburn checks in at 5.39. Both teams own a .976 fielding percentage. Georgia’s leading hitter is junior outfielder Connor Tate at .359-9-28 while Auburn is led by junior infielder Tyler Miller who is batting .354 with 12 home runs and 49 RBI. Tate has reached base safely in 20 games. He began the week tied for the SEC lead in hits and ranked among the top five in batting. Senior first baseman Chaney Rogers has been seeing it well of late. He is batting .583 (7-for-12) with three doubles, a triple and five RBI in his last three games. Junior infielder Josh McAllister (.344-7-20) is day-to-day after injuring his hamstring last Saturday at Missouri. This is the third time this year he has been sidelined with the injury. He has missed the past two games.

UGA-AU Series Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 Thurs. at 7:02 pm: Sr., LHP Ryan Webb (2-3, 3.42 ERA) vs. Sr., LHP Jack Owen (1-2, 6.04 ERA)

Game 2 Fri. at 7:02 pm: So., RHP Jonathan Cannon (2-2, 4.25 ERA) vs. Jr., RHP Richard Fitts (0-3, 7.82 ERA)

Game 3 Sat. at 12:02 pm: TBA vs. TBA

Comments From SEC Series Preview Media Session

Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin

On entering the Auburn series at 9-9 in league play

“In this league, if you’re .500 or better, you’re a top 25, probably a top 15 team in the country. It’s been proven year in and year out, I think Auburn went to Omaha two years ago after going 14-16 when the league ended, and that shows you how good this league is. When you start, you don’t say, ‘let’s go .500.’ Our goal is to win every series. Realistically, we know that. We know what’s in front of us. Our schedule is certainly tough. Auburn is as good a 3-15 team that I’ve ever seen. It’s a really good offensive team, and they’ve been snake-bit a little bit. They’re getting some guys healthy on the mound.  It’s going to be a challenge this weekend. We need to win a series at home and get over .500.”

Jonathan Cannon, RHP, So.

Describe your team in one word

“Competitive. Early in the year, we battled a lot of injuries and guys being out, and we found ways to win even if it wasn’t pretty. Even recently, we might be down a few guys, and we’ve been in a lot of one-run games, got seven walk-offs. A lot of the games have come down to the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, and we’ve outplayed teams in those innings. I think the best way to describe our team is competitive. We’ve capitalized on our opportunities when we’ve had a chance to win especially when we’ve lost on Friday night. It’s difficult to bounce back and win two in a row, and we’ve done that and that speaks to the competitiveness of this team. In this conference, anyone can beat anyone.”

Chaney Rogers, 1B, Sr.

On how the 2020 season ending early influences how this year’s team is playing

“You have to be tough after what happened last year. It was heartbreaking, honestly. We felt like that was the best team we’ve had in a really long time. After that was stripped away from us, and for the guys that came back, I think we’ve shown a lot of toughness. I think the last few weeks, we’ve finally hit our stride. We didn’t play great last week at Missouri but still won a road series. Looking at Auburn, they can hit. They have been in every game. I think they’ve had nine one-run games that they’ve lost. It’s going to be tough. The next few weeks are going to be a grind, and we want to keep a good spot in the SEC.”

Georgia Baseball Radio Links: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network (Announcers: Jeff Dantzler, David Johnston)

Thursday Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. ET:  https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3948&type=Live

Friday Pregame Show at 6:40 pm ET: https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3949&type=Live

Saturday Pregame Show at 11:40 pm ET: https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3950&type=Live

All regular season Bulldog games will be available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. Georgia home games along with SEC road games will be available on the SEC Network+ platform too. All Georgia baseball games will be carried locally on 960 the Ref-AM as it will serve as the primary home for all broadcasts. In Atlanta, Bulldogs fans can tune in to WFOM 1230 AM. Fans can listen to every game online for free through the official website of the Bulldogs, georgiadogs.com and the Georgia Bulldogs app. Also, games will be available on TuneIn. Live Stats are available via the Bulldogs app too.

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