Baseball gets ready for season to start

ATHENS - News and notes from Georgia's baseball team.

*Georgia opens the 2006 season at home Friday, Feb. 17 versus UNC-Greensboro at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs begin their 119th season as the oldest varsity sport on campus. Overall, Georgia has a record of 1,863-1,387-22

*Head coach David Perno enters his fifth season at the helm. The Bulldogs are 3-1 in season openers under Perno. Georgia's best start under Perno came in 2004 when the Bulldogs went 6-0. They would eventually post a 45-23 mark, win the SEC title and finish tied for third at the College World Series.

*Georgia holds a 3-2 edge in the series history with the Spartans with the last meeting coming during the 1999 season at Foley Field when Georgia swept a two-game set. The Spartans will be making their 2006 debut Friday as well. Last season, they went 31-22 under Mike Gaski while Georgia was 30-25.

*The Bulldogs likely starter for the season opener will be junior right-hander Brooks Brown who went 4-2 with a 5.51 ERA last year including 3-0, 2.95 ERA in his final three starts of the season, all coming in SEC action.

*Georgia returns six starting position players highlighted by junior first baseman Josh Morris. In his Bulldog career, the 6-5, 230-pound Morris has smashed 28 home runs and collected 116 RBI.

*Bulldog newcomers looking to make an impact will be freshman shortstop Gordon Beckham and sophomore transfer Ryan Peisel at third base. Last year, Peisel started 42 games at East Carolina and batted .306-4-31. Beckham will be the first freshman to start at shortstop in a season opener for the Bulldogs since 2001 when Jeff Keppinger began his storied career.

*Bulldog junior right-hander Adam McDaniel should make his debut on the mound this weekend. A two-year starter mostly at third base, McDaniel looks to serve in a setup role this season. He is the first Bulldog since Matt Hanson in 1998 to make a full-time move to pitcher from the infield.

*Georgia junior Jonathan Wyatt has been working out at second base and should see some time there this weekend. Wyatt has 53 starts as an outfielder and three as a DH in his Bulldog career.

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