Georgia Baseball Action Returns to Foley

ATHENS - Final preparations for the 2006 Georgia baseball season begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at Foley Field with the start of spring practice. The Bulldogs will hold an eight-inning scrimmage at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

The 2006 squad features 33 players including 15 returning lettermen. Seven of the projected starters in the lineup are veterans with the only two newcomers likely comprising the left side of the infield, according to Bulldog head coach David Perno.

Taking a look around the diamond, the Bulldogs will likely go with junior Josh Morris at first base, senior Matthew Dunn at second base, freshman Gordon Beckham at shortstop, sophomore transfer Ryan Peisel at third base and senior Jason Jacobs at catcher. In the outfield, senior Kyle Keen or junior Jonathan Wyatt will be in left, junior Joey Side will be in center and senior Bobby Felmy will be in right. The leading candidates to be the designated hitter are junior Matt Robbins and freshman Nick DeSilvio.

On the mound, the Bulldogs top four projected starters are junior right-hander Brooks Brown, senior left-handers Rip Warren and Mickey Westphal and freshman left-hander Nathan Moreau. The Bulldog bullpen will feature junior Adam McDaniel, freshman Ben Jeffers and sophomore closer Joshua Fields while the middle relief and situational pitchers are likely to be freshmen Trevor Holder, Iain Sebastian, Jason Leaver, DeSilvio, senior Jason Fellows plus redshirt freshmen Stephen Dodson and Mitchell Odom.

In their college baseball season preview issue, the publication Baseball America has Georgia projected as one of the 64 teams to make the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The publication also listed the nation's top 50 players by class. Beckham was listed No. 27 among the freshmen. In fact, five Southeastern Conference teams could feature freshman starting shortstops this season. The other Bulldogs in their "Fab 50" included Fields (No. 21 sophomore), Brown (No. 40 junior) and Morris (No. 46 junior).

Georgia opens its season Feb. 17 with a three-game series against UNC-Greensboro.

The Bulldogs home schedule features SEC series with Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky. The non-conference schedule at Foley Field includes games with Georgia Tech, Clemson, San Diego and Louisville to name a few.

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