March 26, 2009
The Tennessee baseball team renews one of its oldest rivalries this weekend when it welcomes Southeastern Conference Eastern Division foe Georgia, who is ranked No.1 by Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN, to Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium for a three-game weekend series. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Friday's game will be televised regionally by SportSouth.
All three games are slated for radio broadcast in the Knoxville area on WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 and 99.3. In addition, live video streaming featuring a free audio stream of the baseball play-by-play for Sunday's games can be accessed online at UTsports.com.
This weekend's ballpark promotions are highlighted by Friday's "Pack the Park" event. Hot dogs will be available for just $1. The first 500 students in attendance will receive free t-shirts and there will be free Petros for students.
Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day; all children age 17 and will receive free admission to the game and a voucher for a free hot dog and drink. Kids can also run the bases after the game as well as get autographs from Tennessee coaches and players.
Tennessee (11-12, 1-5 SEC) leads the all-time series with Georgia 110-98, dating to 1909. The Volunteers hold a 64-35 edge in Knoxville and have won six of the last 10 meetings overall. Tennessee has won five of the last six series meetings with Georgia.
UGA (19-3, 4-2 SEC) won the 2008 series in Athens, Ga., 2-1. The Bulldogs won the first two games 6-2 and 3-2, respectively, and Tennessee avoided the sweep with a 4-3 win in 10 innings in game three.
Georgia enters this weekend's action batting .334 as a team with 52 doubles and 38 home runs. The Bulldog's pitching staff has fashioned a 3.21ERA and average 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
At the plate, Georgia is led by first baseman Rich Poythress leads the team with a .429 average, nine home runs and 37 RBI. Outfielder Jonathan Taylor is second on the team batting .387. He also leads the team with 15 stolen bases.
This weekend's pitching matchups begin with Friday's showdown between UT junior left-hander Nick Hernandez (1-2, 4.24 ERA) and Georgia right-hander Trevor Holder (4-1, 2.22 ERA). Tennessee right-hander Stephen McCray (3-1, 4.98 ERA) will take the mound Saturday against Bulldogs left-hander Alex McRee (2-0, 0.57 ERA). Sunday's starting pitcher for Georgia is slated to be right-hander Justin Grimm (1-1, 4.62 ERA) while UT's is undetermined.
UT veterans Jarred Frazier and Jeff Lockwood each have a career batting average above .300 against Georgia. Frazier is 7-for-21 (.333) with two RBI while Lockwood is 6-for-17 (.353) with two doubles, two homes and six RBI. Sophomore P.J. Polk has a .333 average with a triple and an RBI.
Vols head coach Todd Raleigh owns a 4-7 (.363) career coaching record against Georgia, with eight of those meetings coming during Raleigh's tenure at Western Carolina.