2008/03/24 - This Week in Georgia Baseball

ATHENS - A look at Georgia's baseball slate for this week.

Georgia Baseball (12-8 Overall, 4-2 SEC; 5-6 vs. Top 25)
This Week (5 games)
Tues. @ Kennesaw State, 6 p.m. ET
Wed. vs. Kennesaw State, 5 p.m. ET
Fri. @ Miss. State, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sat. @ Miss. State, 3 p.m. ET
Sun. @ Miss. State, 2:36 p.m. ET (CSS)

Last Week (4-1 in Athens)
Tues.-Beat Western Carolina 8-3
Wed.-Beat Alabama A&M 18-3
Fri.-Beat Tennessee 6-2
Sat.-Beat Tennessee 3-2
Sun.-Lost to Tennessee 4-3 in 10 innings

Team Notes: Georgia (12-8, 4-2 SEC) won its second straight SEC series, beating Tennessee two games to one but saw its six-game winning streak snap Sunday falling to the Vols 4-3 in 10 innings. Still, Georgia claimed its first series over UT since 2002. Up next, Georgia plays a midweek home-and-home set with Kennesaw State (8-13) and then resumes SEC play Friday at Miss. State (9-12, 1-5 SEC). The Sunday Georgia-MSU game will be televised live by CSS at 2:36 p.m. ET. Georgia is batting .311 as a team with a 3.97 ERA and .970 Fielding Percentage. The Bulldogs are tied for second in the SEC Eastern Division, one game behind Florida (17-4, 5-1 SEC). Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee are all 4-2 in league play while Ole Miss leads the West at 3-3.

On Tuesday, Georgia junior left-hander Jason Leaver (2-0, 1.59 ERA) will make his first start of the year and 16th of his career. He started the game against the Owls last year played in Rome at State Mutual Stadium (Class A home of the Rome Braves) and got the win with three scoreless innings. Georgia has not announced a starter for Wednesday's game versus KSU. However, look for several pitchers to see action during the midweek contests.

Is There Anybody Better Than Beckham? University of Georgia junior shortstop Gordon Beckham is off to one of the best starts in college baseball this season, batting .517 with 13 home runs, 32 RBI, a 1.080 Slugging Percentage and solid defense at .986 with just one error in 71 total chances. In 11 games against ranked opponents including eight on the road, Beckham has hit .480-6-15, and in SEC action, he has batted .556-4-13.

Currently, the 6-0, 185-pound native of Atlanta leads the SEC in batting, hits, runs, home runs, total bases and slugging percentage. The NCAA releases its first statistical leaders of 2008 on Wednesday. Beckham was a first team preseason All-America selection by Baseball America and rated as the 16th best pro prospect for this year's MLB draft.

Here is a comparison of where Beckham ranks after 20 games with former Bulldog All-America shortstops J.R. Showalter (1990 national championship team) and Jeff Keppinger (2001 SEC Champions and College World Series team).

Bulldog SS After 20 games Final

Gordon Beckham , 2008 .517-13-32, .986 FLDG% -

J.R. Showalter, 1990 .403-4-20, .951 FLDG% .341-14-74, .953 FLDG%

Jeff Keppinger, 2001 .420-3-24, .873 FLDG% .389-18-73, .929 FLDG%

Nobody Scoring on Fields Yet: Senior All-America closer Joshua Fields (0-0, 0.00, 5 SV) has been dominant this season as he has not allowed a run in 10 appearances. The 6-0, 182-pound native of Hull, Ga., has 22 strikeouts and four walks in 9.1 innings. He has five saves on the year including three against top 25 foes. Opponents are batting just .094 against him. Fields was a third team preseason All-America pick by Baseball America.

Ticket Information for Foley Field

Reserved Seat Tickets: $6

General Admission Tickets:$6 adults; $3 youth

• Available online www.georgiadogs.com and by phone 1-877-542-1231

• Game-Day Ticket Window opens two hours before first pitch


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