The Crimson Tide host the Georgia Bulldogs in SEC action this weekend in Hoover. The Tide is 16-15 and 4-8 in conference play, and is desperate need of a series win if not a sweep. UGA is 19-15 overall and 5-7 in the SEC.
Georgia is hitting .275 as a team, with 29 home runs, 52 doubles and nine triples, with 45 stolen bases in 54 attempts. Stephen Wren leads the team at .326 with five home runs. Branson Stephens is next at .321 and Jared Walsh is the only other regular over .300 at .304. Zack Bowers leads in home runs with six, and is hitting .284.
The Bulldogs have a 4.32 team ERA, led by Walsh at 1.82 to go with his perfect 3-0 record. Ryan Lawlor is 3-4 with a 3.46 ERA, and Sean McLaughlin is 3-2 with a 5.49 ERA. Jared Cheek has five saves and a 2.42 earned run average. Taylor Hicks has a 1.15 ERA in 15 innings pitched. The rest of the bullpen looks average at best.
'Bama is hitting .283 as a team, and continues to be led by "Casey Baseball", Casey Hughston with a .395 mark, followed by Mikey White at .362. J.C Wilhite checks in at .318, and Kyle Overstreet has a .309 average. Chandler Avant has been hot of late and is now hitting 293 out of the lead off spot. The Tide has 14 home runs, with Hughston leading with four, followed by White and Will Haynie with three each. Hughston leads in RBIs with 27, and Overstreet has 26. Georgie Salem, fresh off of a two home run game Tuesday, has raised his average to .242 and leads the team with 11 stolen bases, followed by Hughston with 10.
The Tide has a team ERA of 4.04 and is led by Taylor Guilbeau and Ray Castillo. Guilbeau continues to start on Friday nights and has a 2-2 record with a 2.94 ERA. Castillo has a 2.01 ERA in a team leading 14 appearances, with a 3-0 record and three saves. Geoffrey Bramblett leads in victories with his 4-1 record and 4.05 ERA.
This is a huge series for the Tide as a rough start to the SEC slate has left them in a position with little room for error, particularly with #2 Vanderbilt still on the weekend schedule. The Tide needs to win virtually every series between now and then if they are to have a chance at an NCAA berth.