ATHENS — Georgia baseball looks to ride a wave of momentum this weekend when playing host to Kentucky for a three-game series starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Foley Field.
The No. 20-ranked Bulldogs (21-11, 5-7 SEC) have won three of their last four games, including their first conference series of the season against then-ranked No. 1 Vanderbilt.
“We’ve got to capitalize on our momentum,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “I thought we played really well last week at Vanderbilt and against Georgia State Tuesday. We’ve talked about raising expectations, and I feel like we hadn’t been playing to our potential until we got to Vanderbilt.”
The Bulldogs’ bats hope to stay hot behind redshirt junior and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week Connor Tate and senior Garrett Blaylock.
Georgia also expects to see Josh McAllister return to action at some point this weekend after missing seven games with a hamstring injury.
Georgia has kept pace with the Wildcats’ offense from a power standpoint, hitting one more home run than Kentucky (35 versus 34). The Wildcats have a better batting average (.289 vs .274) and average more runs per game (6.4 vs 5.5).
Senior Ryan Webb is expected to start on Friday, and sophomore Jonathon Cannon will start on Saturday. Georgia has yet to announce a starter for Sunday’s game.
“I’m a lot more comfortable and confident now,” Cannon said.
After missing a few non-conference starts early in the season due to illness, Cannon has roared back to a 2-2 record with a 3.38 ERA this season, including 7 innings of 9-strikeout, no-walk shutout baseball in his last start.
UGA is in sixth place in the SEC East, and only a game behind Kentucky (21-9, 6-6 SEC). The Wildcats are tied for fourth with Florida in the conference standings, with SEC play being halfway through after this weekend.
“After Week Four, I was hoping for 6-6 or 7-5,” Stricklin said. “That’s where I thought we would be with Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt all being top 10 teams. We’re pretty close to being where we wanted to be.”
Kentucky is also nursing a two-game winning streak coming into Friday, though amassing a winning record (4-3) on the road.
“You have to find a way to win your series at home and not get swept on the road,” Stricklin said. “This weekend, we need to take back home field and win a series at home to get us in a good spot.”
Georgia Baseball TV, Stream, Radio
Friday: 6:02 PM EST, SECN+, Georgia Bulldog Sports Network, WRFC 960 AM (Athens)
Saturday: 7:02 PM EST, SEC Network, Georgia Bulldog Sports Network, WRFC 960 AM (Athens)
Sunday: 1:02 PM EST, SECN+, Georgia