Baseball: UGA-UF Series

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Florida leads the all-time series with Georgia 166-85-2. Last season, the Gators swept Georgia in Athens, winning 10-9(11), 7-6 and 10-8. Georgia last won a series in Gainesville in 2006 when it posted a three-game sweep. Florida then swept Georgia in Athens in 2007 and claimed the 2008 series 2-1. Kevin O’Sullivan is in his third season as head coach of the Gators.

The fourth-ranked Gators are tied for first place in the SEC at 17-7 with South Carolina and boast a 33-12 overall mark. They have dropped just one SEC series this year, falling 2-1 at #17 Ole Miss in late March. They saw their seven-game winning streak end Sunday at Alabama by a score of 10-8. On Wednesday, they play host to Florida Atlantic.

Florida is batting .308 with a 4.18 ERA and a .977 fielding percentage. They are paced by senior outfielder Matt den Dekker (.363-8-34) and freshman third baseman Austin Maddox (.354-15-55). On the mound, freshman right-hander Hudson Randall is 6-3, 2.94 ERA. He tossed seven shutout innings in a 9-3 win over the Crimson Tide last Friday. The rest of their SEC rotation last week featured sophomore left-hander Alex Panteliodis (8-2, 3.19 ERA) and freshman left-hander Brian Johnson (4-2, 3.74 ERA). Junior left-hander Kevin Chapman serves as the closer at 2-0, 1.36 ERA and eight saves in 22 appearances.

Bullpups: Georgia has the youngest team in the SEC as the starting lineup features all freshmen and sophomores. The 25-man roster for the UF series features nine freshmen, 11 sophomores, the two juniors are pitchers and the three seniors are pitchers. Sophomore 2B Levi Hyams (.360) leads the team in batting. However, sophomore OF Zach Cone, an All-SEC candidate, has a shot for the team’s Triple Crown. He ranks first in home runs (9) and RBI (46) and is second in batting at .353. Sophomore catcher Carson Schilling and redshirt freshman first baseman Kevin Ruiz have started the past three games and made a case for increased playing time. In the UT series, Schilling batted .667 (6-for-9) with 5 RBI including a go-ahead three-run home run Sunday while Ruiz hit .625 (5-for-8) with two RBI. Both were solid defensively, registering 1.000 fielding percentages. Against Ga. State Tuesday, Ruiz posted a career-best 4-hit game, going 4-for-5 with two RBI.

Starting To Swing It: Since a three-hit shutout by #10 South Carolina on April 25th, Georgia has registered double-digit hits in seven of the past eight games. The Bulldogs had a season-high 20 hits against Ga. State this past Tuesday in a 13-9 win. Georgia is batting .295, its highest average since the LSU series on April 3rd when it hit .297.

Pitching, Running Game And Defense: Georgia’s team ERA is 8.81, and it’s 9.11 in SEC action. In Georgia’s 14 wins this season, the team ERA is 4.86 (68 ER/126 IP) while in the 33 losses it’s 10.57 (332 ER/282.2 IP). The record high ERA for a Bulldog team is 6.80 by the 1998 squad that went 24-30.

Georgia has issued 247 walks in 46 games. The record high for walks is 289 by the 1988 team that posted a 29-28 mark. The 2010 Bulldogs have thrown 75 wild pitches compared to just 23 by their opponents.

The Bulldog battery has not been effective in slowing down an opponent’s running game. Georgia’s opponents are 86-for-101 in stolen base attempts, that’s an 85 percent success rate.

Georgia is fielding .966. Bulldog freshman shortstop Kyle Farmer and sophomore second baseman Levi Hyams have turned their share of impressive double plays as the Bulldogs rank second in the SEC with 50 overall and 23 in the SEC. With sophomore third baseman Colby May missing the last nine games due to a hamstring injury, freshman Todd Hankins has been playing third. He has been the utility infielder for the team this season with 16 starts at second base, 11 at third base and four at shortstop. Hankins leads the club with 16 errors, however, he ranks third on the team in batting at .336 and has hit safely in the last seven games. The starting outfield of sophomores Zach Cone, Johnanthan Taylor and Peter Verdin have combined for 14 assists.

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