Baseball gets ready for 5 Home contests

ATHENS - Georgia hosts five home contests this week in baseball.

Georgia Baseball (8-7 Overall, 2-1 SEC; 5-6 vs. Top 25)
This Week (5 home games)
Tues. vs. Western Carolina, 5 p.m. ET
Wed. vs. Alabama A&M, 5 p.m. ET
Fri. vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m. ET (CSS-TV)
Sat. vs. Tennessee, 3 p.m. ET (CSS-TV)
Sun. vs. Tennessee, 2 p.m. ET

Last Week (3-2 on the road) Tues.-Beat #3 Florida State 13-10 in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wed.-Lost to #3 Florida State 8-3 in Tallahasee, Fla.
Fri.-Lost to #21 Arkansas 5-1 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Sat.-Beat #21 Arkansas 15-11 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Sun.-Beat #21 Arkansas 13-2 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Team Notes: Georgia (8-7, 2-1 SEC) won its opening SEC series two games to one at #21 Arkansas to cap a 3-2 week following a two-game split at #3 Florida State. On the year, the Bulldogs are 5-6 versus Top 25 opponents. After dropping the SEC opener at Arkansas 5-1, Georgia found itself trailing 10-1 going to the sixth inning Saturday. However, Georgia matched a school record by rallying back from nine runs down to win 15-11. Then on Sunday, Georgia won 13-2, thus outscoring the Razorbacks 27-3 over the final 14 innings of the series. In school history, Georgia has won just two series in Fayetteville, and they have come in its last two trips (2006 and 2008). Up next, Georgia begins a five-game homestand with Western Carolina (6-9), Alabama A&M (2-15) and Tennessee (12-4, 3-0 SEC) coming to Foley Field. The first two games of the UT series will be televised by CSS, and please note Friday's game will begin at 7 p.m. Tennessee opened up league play by sweeping LSU in Knoxville. UT has played 13 of its 16 games at home this season and just one contest against a ranked team, defeating #3 Texas 5-4 in Houston. WCU faces Hartford in a makeup game Monday before coming to town Tuesday. Last year, Georgia split with the Catamounts while this will be the first-ever meeting with Alabama A&M. Bulldog Individual Notes:

Baseball America First Team Preseason All-America shortstop Gordon Beckham is off to one of the best starts in college baseball this season, batting .507 (35-for-69) with 9 home runs, 23 RBI, 1.014 SLG% and solid defense at .981 with just one error in 54 total chances. In the SEC opening series at #21 Arkansas, he helped Georgia win it by batting .563 (9-for-16) with two home runs and eight RBI. In 11 games against ranked opponents this year, Beckham has hit .480-6-15 with a .960 SLG%. Currently, he leads the SEC in Total Bases (70), Hits (35), Runs (25) and ranks 2nd in Batting (.507), Home Runs (9) and 3rd in OB% (.553) and SLG% (1.014).

Baseball America Third Team Preseason All-America closer Joshua Fields has been dominant with three saves against nationally-ranked opponents. He has pitched 6.2 scoreless innings this year, allowing only one hit with three walks and 16 strikeouts. Opponents are batting just .045 against him.

Junior catcher/designated hitter Bryce Massanari posted an impressive week, batting .438 (7-for-16) with four doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI. Junior left-hander Nathan Moreau (1-0, 2.01 ERA) picked up his first win of the year with six strong innings at #21 Arkansas and tied his career-high with eight strikeouts (6 IP, 3H, 1R, 2BB, 8K). Sophomore first baseman Rich Poythress (.407-4-16) has hit safely in 14 straight games while sophomore second baseman Michael Demperio (.338-1-7) has an 11-game hitting streak.

On Tuesday, Georgia freshman Justin Grimm (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start while redshirt sophomore Brent Hallman makes his Bulldog debut on Wednesday against A&M. Hallman, a 6-4, 215-pound native of Roswell, Ga., has been with the Bulldogs since 2006 but has had a pair of elbow surgeries in that span including ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction ("Tommy John surgery")

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