FanPost

Diamond Dawgs: A cure for what ails ya.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports


In the spring, a young man's fancy is thought to turn to thoughts of love and baseball - at least before the G-Day game. UGA's baseball team has gotten off to a rousing start in 2015. The uniform's look mostly the same as last year, but the stadium received a major facelift... $11 million's worth. Not having seen it myself, I can only say that on TV it looks much "cleaner" and modern, but with nice touches of color schemes and materials. I'd love to hear what the local Athens denizens have to say.

So our coach has one year under his belt and immediately gets a huge influx of cash into his stadium. As has been said elsewhere, this means UGAAA is committed to baseball and is expecting things from Scott Stricklin and his program. I won't address the "dark years", but I'd like to comment on what I've seen so far in 2015. We haven't yet left the friendly confines of Foley Field, but we swept the 3 game opening series against Eastern Illinois scoring in double digits all 3 games, and just took 2 out of 3 from FSU (and honestly should've won Friday night's game as well). So with that small data set, let's see where things are shaking out:

Offense:

Georgia finished 13th in SEC team batting average in 2014. A paltry .256. To boot, we had the third fewest team at bats over the course of the season, so that means we were killing rallies, not scoring runners, and just not hitting safely. We finished 12th in runs, 13th in total hits, and 13th in the conference in doubles, homers, RBIs, total bases, and slugging percentage (feel free to discuss the correct plural form of "RBI" in the comments below). The only good thing coming from our offense last year is that we weren't Missouri - they were like crappy on an epic scale.

The good news is that we're showing some life at the plate so far this year. We're scoring over 9.5 runs a game on average through the first 6. We're batting .349 as a team, and have almost doubled our slugging percentage from last year. We have 9 home runs compared to 13 all of 2014, and 7 different guys have gone yard. Last year we struck out 1 out of every 5 at bats (not plate appearances, but at bats). So far, we've decreased that number from 21% of the time, to striking out only 15% of the time.. a healthy improvement. Not to mention that Trevor Kieboom has a great name and can hit a baseball a very long way (can't find a video link, but the tattoo in the 2nd inning of Saturday's early game was most impressive).

Defense:

Georgia was 14th in the SEC with a team ERA of 4.33 last year, and we finished dead last in saves as well (only 5). Considering our pitchers were 12th in opponents batting average (whee!), it is no surprise that our team W-L record was 3 games under .500 (only one other team was under .500). And it's obvious we couldn't hold a lead or close out a game (sound familiar anyone?). This is the equivalent of Todd Grantham coaching our secondary and Mike Bobo deciding to run draw plays on 3rd and 15.

The 2015 season is much better. We have a 2.17 team ERA, a 5-1 record and have even recorded a save! The staff has recorded 64 strikeouts in 54 innings (1.185/Inning) compared to last years 0.673 strikeouts per inning. 9 pitchers have made multiple appearances, and both Sosebee and Lawlor are 2-0.

I know that this is a small sample, and I know that THE Eastern Illinois/Illini State University fighting Panthers aren't perennial contenders, but we did just face a top 12 school in FSU this weekend. And FSU is indeed a perennial contender with stability, facilities, tradition, and are loaded with phenoms. So all in all, I'm very happy with the 5-1 record, very happy that we won the FSU series, and very happy that we're averaging over 2,000 fans per contest.

I'm not a baseball fanatic, but I like the sport and I follow it casually. We have some good baseball knowledge here at DS, and I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about the season and our chances. Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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