Tonight, the Diamond Dogs play the Winthrop Eagles at Foley Field. Let’s not mince words here; if Georgia loses to Winthrop, the Red and Black may not win another baseball game all year.
The problem is that the Eagles are 18-17 overall, 6-6 in Big South play, have a team batting average of .302, have a team earned run average of 5.93, and have beaten the Bulldogs in seven out of eighteen series meetings. Last year, Georgia beat Winthrop once and Winthrop beat Georgia once.
This season, the Eagles have beaten Northwestern and Penn State at home while losing to Texas A&M (thrice) and North Carolina on the road. Winthrop is 5-10 away from Rock Hill, S.C.
Sophomore southpaw Chase Hawkins is scheduled to get his fourth start of the season, and he looks to improve upon his 0-3 ledger. His previous starts came against Baylor on February 21, Alabama on March 3, and Clemson on April 7. Over the course of the spring, Hawkins has compiled an 8.37 ERA while allowing a .368 batting average. To his credit, the lefty underclassman has yet to throw a wild pitch, but he has been guilty of four balks.
Winthrop is likely to counter with Dom Patterozzi, who has spent slightly more than sixteen innings on the mound this season and produced an 0-2 record with a 10.47 ERA. Patterozzi has walked fifteen and struck out twelve in 2010.
Georgia is 8-13 in out-of-conference contests and 7-10 at home. It is important for the Diamond Dogs to score early, score often, and put the ball in play against the Eagles, as the Classic City Canines are 0-19 when scoring five or fewer runs, 3-20 when being out-hit by the opposition, and 5-18 when conceding the first score to the other team.