ATHENS---- The 18th-ranked Georgia baseball team will face eighth-ranked Clemson Tuesday at SRP Park, the new home of the Augusta Green Jackets in North Augusta, S.C. First pitch will be at 6:30 p.m. and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG. There is no television for this contest.
Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin has the Bulldogs off to their best start in nine years. After 32 games, the Bulldogs mark of 23-9 is the best since the 2009 club roared out a 26-6 start. Georgia is ranked as high as No. 10 this week in the top 25 polls while Clemson (25-7) checks in as high as No. 3. In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the Tigers are No. 5 while the Bulldogs are No. 8. Clemson gave up its home game to play at SRP Park, and it will be the home team. The two squads will meet again next Tuesday in Athens at Foley Field.
Georgia will start sophomore right-hander Tony Locey (6-0, 3.07 ERA) while the Tigers counter with freshman right-hander Spencer Strider (3-0, 4.12 ERA). Last Tuesday against Georgia Tech, Locey was on a pitch count and tossed two innings before giving way to the bullpen including junior Kevin Smith who picked up a win in a combined four-hit shutout. Smith struck out a career-high nine in 4.1 innings. This past weekend, the Bulldogs dropped their first SEC series of the year, going 1-2 at No. 15 Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, the Tigers won a road series over Notre Dame 2-1.
Locey is no stranger to pitching in professional ballparks. Last year, he pitched one scoreless inning of relief at SunTrust Park (home of the Atlanta Braves) in the first game open to the public as Georgia faced Missouri on April 8. The game drew a crowd of 33,025, which was the second largest in college baseball history. Then on May 9, he started at SunTrust Park against Georgia Tech and tossed four scoreless innings in front of a crowd of 23,737. He got a no decision and Georgia went on to win 8-7 to sweep the season series.
The Tigers won both on-campus meetings against the Bulldogs the past two years. Last season, they registered a 4-0 win in Athens and a 9-7 victory in Clemson. Georgia’s last win over the Tigers came when it swept the two-game set in 2015.
Georgia is batting .287 with a 3.54 ERA and a .978 fielding percentage. Clemson is hitting .248 with a 3.14 ERA and a .976 fielding percentage. The Bulldogs look to have their leading hitter, senior Keegan McGovern (.364-10-31) return for this weekend’s SEC series with No. 11 Kentucky (22-10, 5-7 SEC), according to Strickin. He left last Friday’s game at No. 15 Vanderbilt after tweaking his back. McGovern is one of four Bulldog regulars hitting at least .300 along with junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.339-6-33), junior first baseman Adam Sasser (.318-2-23) and redshirt freshman catcher Mason Meadows (.314-2-16).
Georgia returns to Foley Field Friday when it starts an SEC series against the nationally ranked Wildcats.
Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. Clemson
Tues. at 6:30 pm ET: Tony Locey (6-0, 3.07 ERA), RHP, So. vs. Spencer Strider (3-0, 4.12 ERA), RHP, Fr.
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (David Johnston & Jeff Dantzler)
Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), also via the Georgia Bulldogs app and TuneIn app.