Photo Credit: WGAU Radio
The Georgia baseball team took care of business Wednesday on a cold and damp night in Kennesaw, GA.
Any hopes of potentially catching the No. 4 Bulldogs off-guard in a midweek matchup quickly went out the window for the Owls, with Georgia piling on more runs later in the evening.
Freshman starter Garrett Brown went 4 innings with just 2 runs given up in his debut, helping lead Georgia to yet another victory. The Bulldogs would go on to win 10-2 over Kennesaw State, improving to 4-0 on the season.
Looking ahead, the Dawgs will host a rare four-game series against a West Coast team this weekend in Santa Clara. Though the four-game set may not generate that much attention nationally, it’s worth noting that the Broncos are 5-0, after a four-game sweep of San Jose State and an upset win over No. 25 Stanford on Tuesday.
Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t your average cupcake series for the Bulldogs. Santa Clara had about as good of a start as you could have, pummeling the Spartans and holding on to defeat the No. 25 Cardinal, who are always a perennial power in baseball.
While Georgia answered the call to blow out a previously undefeated Kennesaw squad on Wednesday, Santa Clara should be a significant challenge, unless the Stanford win was just a fluke.
It’s far too early to tell just how good each team is at this point, but we’ve got a feeling this weekend could provide a challenge for the Bulldogs.
Look for junior ace Emerson Hancock to have a bounce back outing on Friday, helping carry the Dawgs to an expected series opening win. Saturday, Cole Wilcox should pitch in one of the games, delivering another likely win for the Bulldogs. However, the other two games might be a bit up in the air, with some uncertainty on the mound. Will C.J. Smith be able to rebound on the mound this week or can Ryan Webb come out of the pen again and deliver a solid chunk of innings?
Though Georgia has the more talented squad on paper, this sneaky good Santa Clara team can easily salvage a split in the series, if not a win. The extended travel across the country and four-game fatigue will certainly affect the Broncos to some degree, but if they can play close to or at the level they’ve been playing at in the Golden State, they’ll have more than a punchers chance in Athens.
Santa Clara went just 12-40 last season, with three opening week losses to San Jose State. Although the Broncos struggled mightily last year, they’ve already tied their road game win total from the entire 2019 season.
The Broncos are currently batting .318 as a team from behind the plate and have a whopping .412 on base percentage, as opposed to hitting .223 as a team last year with a lowly .302 on base percentage. That goes without mentioning the team from Northern California has scored 43 runs in just 5 games, to average 8.6 per game. In comparison, Santa Clara had just 192 runs in 52 games last season.
Of course, these numbers are a bit skewed early on due to a pair of blowout wins over San Jose State, but they’re still highly impressive.
Meanwhile, Santa Clara has already hit 7 home runs, with 57 hits and 36 runs batted in on the season. To put that into perspective, the Broncos have 14 more hits than they do strikeouts right now and are limiting opponents to just a .181 batting average.
Of course, the pitching staff the Broncos will face this weekend is one of the best in the nation, but these numbers are staggering at the moment.
Make sure to check back with Southern Slams throughout the week as we bring you the latest news from around the diamond!