Photo Credit: redandblack.com
Among an onslaught of great SEC conference series this weekend, one of the most underrated will be this UGA-Auburn series. The Tigers sit at 17-20(3-15 SEC) on the year and has yet to win an SEC series, but this is a scrappy team that has been a bit snake bitten. 8 of its 15 conference losses have come by one run. If they could have caught a break in those eight games, Auburn would be looking at a very different situation right now.
Georgia is coming off of a midweek loss to in-state rival Georgia Tech and will look to bounce back. Winners of their last three SEC series, the Dawgs are currently 26-14(9-9 SEC).
Thursday: LHP Ryan Webb will square off against LHP Jack Owen in the opener. Webb is coming off a semi-rough outing against Missouri, going 6 IP giving up 5 runs on 5 hits, while Owen seems to be finding his stride, coming off two consecutive 7 inning starts giving up 3 or less runs.
UGA: Ryan Webb: 2-3 3.42 ERA
AUB: Jack Owen: 1-2 6.04 ERA
Friday: RHP Jonathan Cannon will take the mound for game two on Friday against RHP Richard Fitts. Cannon will look to post another solid outing after giving up only 3 ER in 5 IP against Missouri in his last start. Fitts has given up 22 earned runs in 25.1 innings pitched, mostly in relief. He has given up at least one run in 8 of his 9 appearances this year.
Saturday: Neither team has announced starters for the finale.
Keys to the Series:
The key for Georgia will be keeping the ball in the ballpark. Auburn is fifth in the nation is homeruns with 59 on the year. Keeping infielder Tyler Miller in check would be a big help, as he is hitting .354 this season with 12 HR and 49 RBIs.
Limiting walks will also be huge because with how much power this Auburn team has, you want to have as few baserunners on as possible when they inevitably hit one.
Keeping it close. Auburn is 2-8 in one run games while Georgia is 7-3. Auburn is also 1-6 in extra inning contests on the year while Georgia is 3-0.
Players to Watch:
Connor Tate: .359 AVG 9 HR 28 RBI
Tate will look to extend his 20 game on-base streak. He is tied for 1st in hits in the SEC, but has struggled of late so look for him to get back on track this weekend.
Chaney Rogers: .250 AVG 3 HR 27 RBI
Rogers is 7 of his last 12 ABs with five RBIs in his last three games including a solid 2-4 on Tuesday against Tech.
Josh McAllister: .344 AVG 7 HR 20 RBI
McAllister suffered his third separate injury and is listed as day-to-day with a hamstring, but hopefully will see the field this weekend and be able to give the Dawgs a huge offensive boost as he has been clutch all year long.
Ryan Bliss: .354 AVG 9 HR 27 RBI
Bliss is slugging .578 and has an OPS of 1.002 this year so it will be important for him to get going early if the Tigers want to secure their first SEC series win of the season.
Tyler Miller: .354 AVG 12 HR 49 RBI
Miller leads the Tigers in homeruns and sports a monster .653 slugging pct this season. He will need to take advantage of that 314 ft right field fence at Foley Field.
Gametimes and How to Watch:
Thursday: 7:02 PM, SEC NETWORK, ESPN app
Friday: 7:02 PM, SEC NETWORK+, ESPN app
Saturday: 12:02 PM, SEC NETWORK, ESPN app
Foley Field, Athens, GA