Photo: Dawn of the Dawg
The Georgia Bulldogs play host to the Akron Zips this weekend in another early season, non-conference series. The Dawgs and Zips will play four games, with a doubleheader on Saturday. Georgia is 4-0 coming into their second series of the year; they swept Albany last weekend and defeated Wofford 7-1 in their midweek contest on Tuesday. Leading the Bulldogs is junior right-hander Jonathan Cannon, who earned a win last Friday against Albany. He pitched six scoreless innings, only allowing two hits and striking out three.
Georgia has shown us a lot of different things over the first four games. Even though it has been against inferior competition and we don’t want to overreact about the first week, they’ve shown us dominant pitching performances, quick offensive outbursts, and the ability to come back from a deficit. The only concern that I would take away so far is the consistency of the offense. That has been the Achilles’ heel of the Dawgs over the past few seasons.
The Bulldogs are led offensively by a trio of infielders in Josh McAllister, Cory Acton, and Cole Tate. McAllister leads the team in RBIs with five, Tate leads the team in hits and total bases, and Acton holds a .308 average and is tied for the team lead in doubles.
Probable Starting Rotations:
G1: RHP Jonathan Cannon (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Conor Steinbaugh (0-1, 18.00)
G2: LHP Liam Sullivan (0-0, 18.00) vs. RHP Taed Heydinger (0-1, 11.25)
G3: RHP Garrett Brown (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Anthony Fett (0-0, 3.38)
G4: RHP Dylan Ross (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Brady Biglin (0-0, 15.00)
The Zips’ start has been cooler than they would have liked. Akron traveled to Lipscomb in their opening series and lost two out of three. They were outscored 21-8 in the first two games but won the finale 6-5 on Sunday. Sophomore lefty Anthony Fett didn’t notch the win on Sunday but pitched a masterful game, going five-and-a-third innings, allowing only two earned on four hits.
Shortstop Cameron Benson will be one hitter to look out for in this series. The freshman from Michigan has batted .462 with five RBIs in the team’s first series and has hit the team’s only home run. The Zips are hitting .291 and have a team OPS of .751.
Akron is coached by Chris Sabo, who is in his fifth year with the team. After playing his collegiate career at the University of Michigan, he was drafted by the Reds in the second round of the 1983 MLB Draft. He was called up to the big leagues in 1988, where he won National League rookie of the year. He was a three-time All-Star selection and was inducted into the Reds’ Hall of Fame in 2010.
Game Times and How to Watch:
All four games will be played at Foley Field in Athens, Georgia, and can be streamed through the ESPN app.
Game One: Friday, February 25th – 5 p.m.
Game Two*: Saturday, February 26th – 2 p.m.
Game Three*: Saturday, February 26th – 5:30 p.m.
Game Four: Sunday, February 27th – 1 p.m.
*Games are a part of the doubleheader and times are subject to change