Senior Mickey Westphal has seen it all. The southpaw is 4-0 this season and after a complete game shutout vs the Gators, he is your reigning SEC pitcher of the week. After 8 wins in his first 2 seasons, he had shoulder surgery in 2004. In 2005 he led the Dawgs with a 2.90 ERA and this season he is not far behind with an ERA of 3.59. After last weekend's sweep, the Dawgs are right back in the SEC hunt. Friday won't be easy, Westphal will take the mound vs the SEC East co-leaders, the Gamecocks.

Dave McMahon -- Only a few more weekends of SEC action, how important is this weekend in staying in the SEC picture?

Mickey Westphal -- It is big. Last weekend was big, too. South Carolina are the co-leaders of the SEC East right now... with a couple more wins we can be there, too.

DM -- How does the team feel now?

MW -- We are playing with a lot more confidence. Last weekend's sweep was big for us, but South Carolina is never easy.

DM -- The last few weekends you became "the Friday" guy... do you like starting on Fridays compared to Saturdays?

MW -- It doesn't matter which day I throw. I just like throwing on the weekends.

DM -- You used to be a fastball pitcher, a hard thrower and now after the surgery you have to outthink you hitters, which is tougher?

MW -- I think it is tougher being a finese pitcher. You can't miss you spots that often this way. When you are a hard thrower you can get away with more things by overpowering your opponent.

DM -- How did you learn to change?

MW -- I just had to accept things were different. Coach Williams has helped me a lot this year and Coach Thompson helped me some last year, too.

DM -- You being a senior on a pitching staff that has a lot of freshmen, do you have extra responsibility of being a leader as well?

MW -- Yes, you have to be. I am not alone in being a leader, though. Rip Warren and Brooks Brown have done a great job as well... and catcher Jason Jacobs has helped out the young staff, too.

DM -- Which freshman pitcher(s) do you see now and you can picture them being stars of the future?

MW -- I think a lot of them can be. I think Nathan Moreau, Iain Sebastian and Trevor Holder all can do it. All of the pitchers just need to gain some more experience and I think they will be great.

DM -- You were injured in 2004, do you put extra pressure on yourself since you did not get to pitch the last time that Georgia won the SEC title and made it to the College World Series?

MW -- Not really... All I want is a chance to play in the SEC Tournament, we do well at that, then play in the NCAA regionals and do well there, then Super Regionals and hopefully the College World Series. There are a lot of steps to take and hopefully our dreams can come true.

DM -- Thank you for your time and good luck this weekend and the rest of the year.

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