ATHENS — The state of the Georgia baseball program will be on display for all to judge at 7 p.m. tonight on the SEC Network when the Bulldogs try to even the series at No. 1-ranked Arkansas.
Coach Scott Stricklin recently signed a contract extension, but the Bulldogs (27-17, 10-12 SEC) find themselves mired in a three-game losing streak after the Razorbacks (35-8, 16-6) scored a 3-0 shutout on Friday night.
Jonathon Cannon (2-2, 4.19) will get the start for Georgia in the Saturday night battle at Baum-Walker Stadium, but the performance of UGA freshman Liam Sullivan is certainly worth a second glance.
Sullivan, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound freshman from Sandy Springs by way of the Marist School was masterful against the nation’s top home run-hitting team.
Sullivan fanned 11 Razorbacks in his first career start and allowed just three hits and one run in the six innings he worked.
“Sully (Sullivan) was really good, and certainly he has a week ahead of him to work hard and get ready for next weekend,” Stricklin said, indicating the freshman may have secured a spot in the SEC series’ rotation. “We’re really excited about his future. We saw some good things last week against Auburn. He gave us a chance to win in that game, and he deserved a chance to go out there tonight.”
Sullivan recorded the rare feet of a perfect inning, nine pitches, all strikes for three strikeouts in the fifth inning.
“My main goal was to throw strikes and give us a chance to win a game,” Sullivan said. “I felt really good in the bullpen. Every pitch I threw felt like I could get someone out with and I just continued that into the game.”
Sullivan said he noticed the perfect inning as he was walking off the round, remarking that it was “something nice to do, but it’s really not that big of a deal.”
Beating Arkansas in Fayetteville would be a big deal for Georgia.
The Razorbacks are 21-4 at home this season entering tonight’s game with the Bulldogs, who are 8-6 on the road.