Georgia Baseball Set to Host South Carolina

ATHENS ------The No. 23 Georgia Bulldogs return to Southeastern Conference action Friday with another top 25 showdown as eighth-ranked South Carolina visits Foley Field. First pitch is set for 6:02 p.m. ET and be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

The Bulldogs (17-7, 2-4 SEC) have been playing without Ike Cousins Head Coach Scott Stricklin the past eight games (going 4-4) after he tested positive for COVID-19. Stricklin aims to return Friday for the USC series. The Bulldogs have won six straight series over USC including sweeping the past two. USC holds a 64-63 edge in records dating back to 1896.

The Gamecocks (17-6, 4-2 SEC), ranked as high as No. 8 this week, are coached by Mark Kingston. The USC lineup features the nation’s leading slugger in junior C/DH Wes Clarke (.313-14-30). USC’s top hitter has been sophomore Braylen Wimmer at .366-5-14 overall and .333-1-5 in league play.  Georgia is batting .282 with a .355 OB%. The team ERA is 3.00 and fielding .980. USC is batting .277 with a .368 OB%, a 3.53 ERA and fielding .974.

Six of the seven SEC series last weekend were sweeps; the lone exception was Georgia winning on Sunday at Texas A&M. After dropping the opener 6-4 last Friday, Georgia carried a 6-5 lead to the ninth Saturday and lost 7-6. On Sunday, Georgia trailed 4-1 going to the 7th and rallied for a 6-4 victory. Then, Georgia snapped Clemson’s five-game winning streak this past Tuesday with a 2-0  road shutout. It was the first over the Tigers at their park since 1936!  Meanwhile the Gamecocks have won six in a row including sweeping No. 5  Florida last week for the first time since 2006.

Georgia will employ the same SEC rotation as the first two weekends. It will feature freshman LHP Luke Wagner (3-2, 2.95) on Friday followed by senior LHP Ryan Webb (2-0, 1.59) and sophomore RHP Jonathan Cannon (1-1, 3.07). The Gamecocks will start junior RHP Thomas Farr (2-1, 2.94) and senior RHP Brannon Jordan (2-2, 2.70) in the first two games with Sunday’s starter TBA.

Bulldog redshirt junior infielder Josh McAllister (.361-5-13) saw his streak of reaching base safely in 17 straight games end this past Tuesday in the 2-0 win at Clemson. In the road series with Texas A&M, he batted .357 with a pair of home runs and six RBI. Georgia’s leading hitter is redshirt junior RF Connor Tate at .362-3-15. McAllister ranks second followed by freshman C Fernando Gonzalez (.320-0-2). Freshman DH Corey Collins (.310-4-16, team-high 13 BB) returned to action in the Texas A&M series after missing three games with a hamstring injury. He had started the first 17 games before the injury.

SEC Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. USC

#27 Luke Wagner (3-2, 2.95, LHP, Fr.) vs. #34 Thomas Farr (2-1, 2.94, RHP, Jr.)

#55 Ryan Webb (2-0, 1.59, LHP, Sr.) vs. #22 Brannon Jordan (2-2, 2.70, RHP, Sr.)

#12 Jonathan Cannon (1-1, 3.07, RHP, So.) vs. TBA

Georgia Baseball Radio Links: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network (Announcers: Jeff Dantzler, David Johnston) Fri. Pregame Show begins at 5:40 p.m. ET: https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3932&type=Live Sat. Pregame Show begins at 1:40 p.m. ET: https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3933&type=Live

Sun. Pregame Show begins at 12:40 p.m. ET: https://georgiadogs.com/watch/?Live=3934&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 WRFC 960 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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