It's a testament to the depth of this conference (and my own paranoia that creeps in during a losing streak) that i'm more than a little bit worried about the Tigers hitting the road to face the last-place SECE team and only squad in the conference under .500 overall. UGA (9-12, 1-2) started the year getting swept at Stetson and dropping series to Balyor and FSU at home. Since then, the Dawgs went on a west coast trip and Swept the Dodgertown classic against the likes of UCLA and USC before losing 2 of 3 at S Car to start SEC play.
A big factor in UGAs victories has been their starting pitching. Friday's(3.60 ERA 24H 12R 4HR 27K in 25IP) has been on a tear lately, having notched long, successful outings against both of last year's CWS finals participants in his last 2 starts (6-2 at UCLA, 4-2 at S Car). Saturday regular Michael Palazzone (2.64 ERA 39H 9R 1HR 27K in 30.2IP) is their only other regular starter and he would have had as successful a last few outings as Wood if he had some run support. UGA is only hitting .258 as a team, with only 2 players over .300. Levi Hyams (.360 36H 12R 1HR 15K) and Chase Davidson (.295 23H 13R 2HR 23K) are the Dawgs main scoring threats.
So UGA has decent pitching, but problems on offense (Where have we seen that before?) It can be said that LSU has similar problems, but the difference is that ours are only a recent slump while UGA's have lasted most of the year. That's why we are 16-5 and they're 9-12. Sure, we aren't looking like world beaters right now, but all it will take is just a little more success at the plate with runners on and for the relief pitching to get out of it's funk.
I can't tell you right now if Tuesday's lineup changes are going to stick. The only big name missing from the travel roster that I notice is Tyler Jones, who's got some work to do to get back into form.
Weather will be a significant factor this weekend, with 80% chance of thunderstorms from early Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. SEC travel rules in effect, so we could see our 1st 7 inning game of the season if they have to squeeze in a DH somewhere. We'll update start times and delays on this page as we hear about them.
TV is complicated. Friday, the game is on the local ABC station WSB-TV in the Atlanta/Athens area (with John Smoltz doing color commentary) and simulcast on Cox 4 in the NOLA, BR, and LAF areas. Saturday is Comcast Sports Southeast and as far as I can tell will not be simulcast anywhere (both the local FSNs and Cox Sports will be a carrying other college baseball games). Both Friday and Saturday can be seen online through UGA's official site (paid access). There in no TV on Sunday.
S Car @ Florida
Vandy @ Arkansas
Auburn @ Miss. St
UK @ Bama
Ole Miss @ Tenn.
Elsewhere, Wake Forest has a tough weekend at Top Ten ranked FSU, the resurgent Greenies are at Southern Miss., UNO (1-19) hits the west coast for a series at St. Mary's, and CS-Fullerton will play at Hawaii without 8 players, including 4 starters, who were all suspended and left at home after violating team rules while at Tx A&M 2 weeks ago.
PITCHING MATCHUPS from LSUSports.net(ALL TIMES CENTRAL)
GAME 1-6:30pm-WSB-TV(ATL) COX4(LA)
LSU - Fr. RHP Kurt McCune (3-0, 1.15 ERA, 31.1 IP, 7 BB, 21 SO)
UGA - So. LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 3.60 ERA, 25.0 IP, 5 BB, 27 SO)
3pmSUNDAY 11am-UPDATE(3:50 pm- GAME CALLED FOR RAIN, 7 inning Double Header on Sunday)
LSU - Fr. RHP Kevin Gausman (2-1, 2.76 ERA, 32.2 IP, 10 BB, 31 SO)
UGA - Jr. RHP Michael Palazzone (2-1, 2.64 ERA, 30.2 IP, 3 BB, 27 SO)
1pm Following GM2-No TV
LSU - Sr. RHP Ben Alsup (3-2, 3.42 ERA, 26.1 IP, 11 BB, 20 SO)
UGA - Jr. LHP Craig Gulllickson (1-1, 6.00 ERA, 15.0 IP, 7 BB, 9 SO)
Travel roster from The Advocate
JaCoby Jones, Raph Rhymes, Tyler Hanover, Mikie Mahtook, Austin Nola, Mason Katz, Ty Ross, Mike Lowery, Trey Watkins, Jordy Snikeris, Grant Dozar, Alex Edward, Beau Didier, Kirk Cunningham, Matt Fury, Kurt McCune, Kevin Gausman, Ben Alsup, Ryan Eades, Matty Ott, Chris Cotton, Kevin Berry, Jimmy Dykstra, Joe Broussard, Samuel Peterson, Nick Rumbelow and Daniel Bradshaw.