by Knox Bardeen
The Georgia Bulldogs (18-16, 8-4 SEC) play host to the fourth-ranked Florida Gators (26-8, 9-3 SEC) for a weekend series starting Friday and concluding Sunday. Fridays game will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on CSS, as will Sundays 2 p.m. start. Saturdays first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Georgia will send sophomore, left-handed pitcher Alex Wood (4-3, 3.66 ERA) to the mound on Friday to face Floridas Hudson Randall (5-1, 1.56 ERA).
Saturday looks to be the marquee matchup on the mound with Floridas Brian Johnson (5-1, 2.54 ERA) facing Georgias Michael Palazzone (5-1, 2.28 ERA).
On Sunday, junior Craig Gullickson (3-2, 5.86 ERA) takes the mound for the Bulldogs while Karsten Whitson (4-0, 2.01 ERA) hurls for the Gators.
Florida comes into the weekend series having lost three of its last five games, one each to Central Florida, Mississippi State and Florida State. Georgia has lost its last two games, but prior to that reeled off seven wins.
Florida has won eight straight games over Georgia and 11 of the past 12.
Georgia does better at home (10-6 at home vs. 6-9 on the road) and playing in the SEC (8-4 in conference vs. 10-12 non-conference), which bodes well for the Bulldogs home series against an SEC foe.
The Bulldogs have hit 20 home runs this season, but five have come in their last two games; two against Georgia Tech and three against Mississippi. Georgia has his 11 of its home runs in the month of April.
Two streaks to watch this weekend for the Bulldogs: sophomore shortstop Kyle Farmer is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak, while starter Michael Palazzone hasnt walked a batter in his last 34 innings.
Florida and Georgia have three common SEC foes; LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina. Both teams are 6-3 against these common opponents.
Florida feels comfortable on the road, winning its last six SEC road series its played.
Florida freshman starting pitcher Karsten Whitson has a team-high 18 strikeouts in 20 innings of SEC work. He is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in conference starts.
If Florida hits a home run, consider the game over. The Gators have hit 22 home runs this season and are 16-0 when the team hits one over the fence.
The Gators are dangerous with two outs. They have 87 two-out RBI and hit .292 when the team is down to its final out of the inning.