Tonight at 7pm, GT will host UGA on the diamond in Atlanta. This is the second game in the annual three-game series this year, with GT currently leading 1-0. The last game was a 15-6 affair in the midst of a 16-game win streak for the Jackets. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by Russ Chandler Stadium and take in a great rivalry game. If, like myself, you don't live nearby, then the game is going to be televised on CSS, so set the DVR's people.
RHP Matthew Grimes (4-1, 3.82, 37.2 IP, 34 SO) vs. LHP Chase Hawkins (1-1, 4.55, 29.2, 12 SO)
The good guys are coming off a 1-2 series loss to Virginia while the Dawgs are coming off a seven game win streak themselves, one that ended Sunday with a loss to Ole Miss. This post will serve as the official game thread for tonight's game so hit the jump for a preview of the two teams' seasons thus far.
If their is one common thread between these two teams, then it has to be hitting. Hitting has been key in both the Jackets and the Dawgs seasons with both teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Jackets as a team are batting at a .331 clip, while uga is only managing a .261 average. But it's more than just hitting, as evidenced by the differences in OPS. GT is getting on base and eating up those bases at an almost .900 rate. Georgia on the other hand can only sustain a .683 OPS.
The discrepency in BB's is something to note as well. GT, in only one more game played than Georgia, has almost twice as many walks at 130-68. Talk about plate discipline. Also, GT has accumulated 126 more AB's than Georgia, averaging 36 AB/g to UGA's 33 AB/g.
Then there is the matter of pitching. The numbers are below for all to see so I won't bother regurgitating them here. However, I will say that on paper, the Jackets rotation is just flat stellar when compared to UGA's rotation. I even checked fielding stats to ensure that it wasn't something erroneous going on behind the mound that caused such a huge difference. Both teams are not exactly lighting it up in the field with only a fraction of a difference between the two.
Which leads me to my final point regarding these two teams. We talked earlier before the season started about this potentially being a transition year for the Jackets because of all the turnover. Danny Hall is starting four freshmen with another three getting heavy starter innings/games. The low fielding should have been expected, but I don't think anyone expected the hitting to be as successful as it has been, nor that the back end of the rotation would be as solid as it's been, when traditionally pitching has been somewhat of a secondary priority on Hall's teams.
UGA meanwhile, has six juniors, three sophomores, and only a single freshman playing all of their primary innings/games. I'm hesitant to say that it's a lack of talent because it was just recently that UGA was vying for a national championship and I'm sure recruiting hasn't fallen off at the big state school right? Maybe an Athen's native can comment on this matter below.
In conclusion, on paper GT should again handle UGA with ease. However, this is a GT/UGA game and that means that nothing is set and we should all expect an exciting game tonight. So, what's the good word?!