The baseball team's strategy this year was going to reliant on strong pitching and manufacturing runs without the power bats we've enjoyed the last few years. So far, that strategy has been working ... against Stetson and Presbyterian. Against teams that you've heard of, the strategy isn't going as well. The Dawgs have lost to Baylor, Duke and got popped by Bama Wednesday night, 13-2. The road gets no smoother this weekend against No. 6 Florida State in Tallahassee. Sunday's game is on Sun Sports, if you get that channel.
A major contributor to the uneven play has been injuries. The infield lineup that we'll likely feature in SEC play hasn't even played together yet because of injuries and suspensions. From georgiadogs.com:
"Georgia’s starting lineup consists of three freshmen and six sophomores, and the infield has yet to feature all four projected starters. Currently, the Bulldogs are without freshmen starting shortstop Kyle Farmer (out 3-6 weeks due to a broken hamate bone in left wrist) and sophomore second baseman Levi Hyams (sore back). Farmer, who is the team’s second leading hitter at .458, has missed the past three games while Hyams has yet to see action this season. Since Farmer’s injury, third baseman Colby May has moved to shortstop while redshirt freshman Kevin Ruiz and sophomore catcher Christian Glisson have split time at third base. Glisson had never played third base in his career while Ruiz saw some time there in the fall. Meanwhile at second base, freshman Todd Hankins has started all nine games this year. Ruiz along with freshman Robert Shipman filled in the first five games at first base while sophomore Chase Davidson was out with an elbow injury. Davidson has returned to first base the past three games. Hyams might see action in the field during the FSU series and could be back full-time by next week."
The young season does have a few sterling performances. Zach Cone hit for the cycle in the season's second game. He became the first Dawg to pull that off since Josh Smith in 2004. Justin Grimm has pitched like the high draft pick he is expected to be. He's got a 1.69 ERA in two games so far. It's a small sample size, but Grimm's looked good. Alex McRee has three saves in four appearances and eleven Ks, but he still walks too many batters. Peter Verdin has at least one hit in every game this year.
The team has some palpable talent, but the injuries will hamper us in the early going.