If you were to look at the last time that Georgia baseball defeated Mercer, you would have to go back five years when it topped the Bears 8-6. And although the Bulldogs control the all-time series with a 88-24-1 record, Mercer has dominated the previous three contests.
Left-handed pitcher junior Connor Jones, who makes his first collegiate start, travels with the Bulldogs to maintain their winning ways. Jones notched a 0-2 record with an 8.03 ERA through a stretch of 12.1 innings in his 16 career appearances. And after missing the 2-1 series victory against Georgia Southern due to illness, Jones received an additional day to ready himself after weather forced the game to be rescheduled for Wednesday.
Another returning Bulldog to the lineup is junior All-America center fielder Stephen Wrenn, who also missed the recent series for the same reason as Jones. Wrenn has started 109 games in his tenure at Georgia thus far and was ranked among other Southeastern Conference contenders for most bases stolen with 28. In addition, sophomore left fielder Keegan McGovern could prove to be an additional asset for the Bulldogs as he was the voice at the plate batting .417 (5-for-12) against Southern.
On the other hand, Mercer has its own well-equipped squad behind center fielder junior Kyle Lewis. Lewis is the first player in the program's history to be associated with the Golden Spikes Awards Watch List, which is the highest honor in collegiate baseball. The Snellville, Georgia native was shy of acquiring the SoCon triple crown last season after he sustained a batting average of .367, 17 homers and finished fifth with 56 RBIs.
Sophomore right hander Conrad Cornell receives his first start on the mound for the Bears as well. Cornell transitioned from outfielder to pitcher last season and has only recorded two career appearances with a 0-0 record and a 9.00 ERA. He will work to ensure the Bears extend their 3-0 win streak after they thwarted Radford. It is the third time in the last four seasons that Mercer has swept their opponents on opening weekend and the Bulldogs will take course to snap their three game skid versus the Bears.
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET Wednesday evening.