College Sports

SEC baseball: Georgia hosts No. 4 South Carolina this weekend; Alabama aims to end road woes at No. 7 Kentucky

Based on most expert projections, the Georgia baseball team still has a relatively firm grip on an NCAA tournament spot.

But the Bulldogs still want to finish strong.

Georgia hosts No. 4 South Carolina at Foley Field this weekend in a series that could be crucial for postseason positioning. The two-time defending national champion Gamecocks have won 13 of their past 14 in SEC play.

Georgia (28-21, 12-12 SEC) is coming off of its own little SEC run. Star lefty Alex Wood will start the first game against South Carolina (37-12, 16-8), which sends undefeated ace Michael Roth to the hill.

Wood is 6-1 this season with a 2.64 ERA, 81 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 81 2/3 innings pitched, and he is coming off of a start in which he held Auburn, the SEC's top-hitting team, to just two runs and struck out 10, for which he earned the SEC Pitcher of the Week honor.

Wood also needs to pitch deep into tonight's game to save the Georgia bullpen, which used six hurlers in Wednesday night's 8-6 loss to Georgia Tech.

"We pitched poorly," Georgia coach David Perno said. "We wanted to keep guys fresh for the upcoming South Carolina series, but we needed to do better."

Road trip

Mired in the concrete at the bottom of the SEC standings, an Alabama team that has been terrible on the road has to get on the bus and travel to No. 7 Kentucky for a three-game series that starts at 7 p.m. tonight.

Freshman Spencer Turnbull pitches against Kentucky's Taylor Rogers in the opener, but the Crimson Tide (18-30, 7-17 SEC) might face its biggest test simply by playing away from home.

Alabama is 0-12 on the road in SEC play, and the Crimson Tide rank dead-last in the SEC in batting average.

"It's tough to win SEC games when you're scoring one run and two runs in back-to-back nights," Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said.

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