Photo Credit: georgiadogs.com
Georgia fans received more bad news this week after losing the rubber match of the series against Arkansas last Sunday. Pitcher Ryan Webb, who has been the anchor of the Bulldogs rotation this season, will be shut down for the remainder of the season due to an elbow injury. The plan is for him to have Tommy John surgery. The Dawgs are have already been without four of their top five pitchers from the fall, so this is a huge blow. They will look to freshmen Liam Sullivan and Jaden Woods, who have pitched very well this season, for the first two games of the series.
Florida is currently ranked #9 in the country according to D1Baseball and are 33-15 overall and 15-9 in the SEC. They’re coming off a series win against Kentucky last weekend before losing the midweek contest to Stetson 6-1. They sit at third in the SEC East, two games behind Tennessee.
The Gators have underperformed this season after being ranked #1 in the country to begin the season. Inconsistencies in pitching have resulted in a 4.24 team ERA. This is a very talented team though, with outfielder Jud Fabian leading the way with 18 home runs.
Florida has four hitters above .300 on the season with Mac Guscette topping out that list with an average of .342.
Georgia is currently 28-18 overall and 11-13 in the SEC. After losing their last two SEC series, the Dawgs fall to 5th in the SEC East and will most likely need to win their last two series if they want to see postseason play past Hoover.
Friday: LHP Liam Sullivan (1-1, 3.96) vs. RHP Tommy Mace (5-0, 4.43)
Sullivan is coming off the first start of his young career, pitching six innings of three hit, one run, eleven strikeout ball in a loss against Arkansas while Tommy Mace gave up four runs on eight hits in a no decision against Kentucky.
Saturday: LHP Jaden Woods (3-0, 4.00) vs. LHP Hunter Barco (8-2, 4.26)
Jaden Woods’ last start came on March 7th against North Florida when he went 5 2/3 innings giving up three runs on two hits, striking out seven. Woods has pitched out of the bullpen since and has been pretty outstanding with multiple clutch performances. He notched a win in his last outing, pitching 4 scoreless innings on Saturday. Barco is coming off of an impressive start of his own in a win against Kentucky where he went 6 2/3 scoreless innings only allowing two hits. The freshman had a rocky start to the year, but has found his groove in more recent starts. He has given up three runs or less in his last six outings.
Sunday: TBA vs RHP Franco Aleman (1-2, 5.17)
With Ryan Webb’s injury, the Bulldogs will likely go to sophomore Jonathan Cannon on Sunday, who is currently 2-2 with a 4.53 ERA on the season. Aleman gave up five runs (four earned) on ten hits in six innings pitched against Kentucky.
Players to Watch:
Georgia: Brothers Connor and Cole will both look to extend on-base streaks this weekend. Connor has reached base safely in 26 straight games, while Cole has reached in 16 straight contests including notching a hit in 7 straight. LHP Ben Harris will need to continue to impress out of the bullpen if the Dawgs want to steal this series in Gainesville.
Florida: OF Jud Fabian has an impressive on-base streak to keep alive as well, as he has reached base in 23 consecutive games. He will also look to stay in the SEC home run race as well, sitting tied for second in the conference to this point. Fabian is hitting .304 during this streak. Sophomore Jacob Young, who broke a UF record last weekend for consecutive games with a hit, will try to extend his 30 game streak against the Bulldogs.
Game Times and How to Watch
Friday: 6:30 PM, SEC Network+
Saturday: 6:30 PM, SEC Network+
Sunday: 12 PM, SEC Network
Georgia: vs. Ole Miss
Florida: at Arkansas