MSU vs. Georgia Series Preview

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MSU travels to Athens for a three game set this weekend.

Game 1: Friday at 6:00 (CST) – Ben Bracewell (2-1, 1.71) vs. Robert Tyler (1-0, 0.93)*

Game 2: Saturday at 11:00 (on FSN) – Trevor Fitts (2-0, 3.92) vs. Patrick Bowling (2-1, 2.57)*

Game 3: Sunday at 12:00 – TBA vs. Ryan Lawler (1-1, 6.61)*

*Estimated guesses based on conversion with Tyler (below) and looking at their previous games.

Georgia got off to a terrible start to the year with a 2-6 record (although two losses were at FSU). Since then they’ve reeled off 10 straight wins including victories over Georgia Tech and Western Carolina.

Team

 Avg.

OB%

HR

SO

BB

SB

ERA

WHIP

Opp. Avg.

MSU

.276

.393

5

118

105

36

2.98

1.35

.253

UGA

.297

.407

6

108

102

22

4.78

1.53

.283

RPI:

  • MSU: 121
  • UGA: 36

Here’s John Cohen discussing the opening series:

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I asked Tyler Dawgden of the Georgia Sports Blog a few questions about their team:

1. Have you noticed any differences in the team with new head coach Scott Stricklin?  

"We seem to be playing much looser and aggressively. Under Perno, we never really were a running team, but last year in particular was bad; we only stole 29 bases on 50 attempts. Already this season we’ve gone 22-29. One other thing: we are taking walks. Our OB% is currently above .400. We haven’t been that high since the 2008 CWS team."

2. How does the pitching staff look?

"Excellent Friday and Saturday starter material in F Robert Tyler and S Patrick Boling. After that our starting rotation needs work. We have a couple of mid-inning guys, particularly Sosebee, that will probably eventually get a looksee for that third starting spot unless Stricklin decides to keep him out in the pen for set up and/or long relief. He’ll likely get plenty of work in long relief over the season. Jared Cheek and Pete Nagel will have some sort of set up/save roles, but it isn’t clear yet to me how that’ll play out."

3. What is the strength of Georgia’s lineup?

"Outfielders Hunter Cole and Connor Weldon are both good contact guys. The difference is Cole makes pitchers wish they’d missed the strike zone, and Weldon makes pitchers think they’ve got an out that just never happens. I mentioned the base stealing and walks, so we are in better position to score runs, which we are doing better at than last season."

4. What is your outlook for this season?

"We are growing up a bit. If you’d asked that question a month ago, I’d have said rebuilding, but we look to be a bit better than I thought. I don’t think we’ll contend for the SEC or slip into an NCAA bid due to our issues within the rotation, but on any given weekend, we could give anyone a headache. After last year’s debacle, I’d see anything above .500 in the conference as significant progress. Getting South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky in Athens won’t hurt."

Yep, their coach is really named Scott Stricklin. And this will be a tough road series. Maybe not the toughest but it will be hard to win like any other SEC series. Just judging from the stats it looks like both offenses are relatively equal but MSU’s pitching is significantly better. Should be fun. Hail State!