Editor's Update: The 2020 baseball season was canceled due to the spread of COVID-19 and coronavirus outbreak. Georgia finished the shortened season with a 14-4 record.
It's been 30 years since the University of Georgia baseball team won the College World Series in 1990. It's been another 12 years since they've showed face in Omaha back in 2008. But following a 46-17 finish in 2019 and claiming the No. 4 spot in the NCAA preseason poll, that could all change in 2020.
Led by the top arm in the country and potential No. 1 overall MLB draft pick, Emerson Hancock, the Bulldogs feature what might be the strongest rotation in the SEC. Hancock, who was selected as a preseason All-American by almost every major baseball outlet, will start Friday nights in Athens and hopes to build upon his 8-3, 1.99 ERA season last year.
What's scary is there's no drop-off after Hancock. No. 2 starter Cole Wilcox boasts a mid-90s fastball and could very likely selected in the first round alongside Hancock. The draft-eligible sophomore struck out 64 hitters in 59.2 innings and posted a 4.07 ERA in 2019. Out of the bullpen are some power arms as well in lefty Ryan Webb and freshman Jonathan Cannon, a massive 6-foot-6 right-hander who possesses a 96-mph heater.
UGA's offense will be the question. Replacing leading hitter and closer Aaron Schunk (.339, 15 HRs, 12 SV) as well as LJ Talley and John Cable (who both hit above .300) won't be easy. Thankfully, Riley King (.295, 8 HRs) and Cam Shepherd (8 HRs, 7 SB) chose to return to school and should provide some pop.
Georgia's path to the NCAA Tournament won't be an easy one. The Bulldogs open up the season with a series against Richmond Feb. 14-16 (Fri-Sun) and begin SEC play on the road in Gainesville against the Florida Gators Mar. 13-15.
Luckily for local fans, Georgia will play 35 of their 56 regular-season games at home.
The Bulldogs will notably serve as the home team in series and games against Georgia Tech (Fri, Feb. 28), Clemson (Tue, Apr. 7) and an SEC slate that welcomes South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Kentucky to Foley Field.
Despite plenty of tough conference teams like LSU, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi State, Auburn and Arkansas, Georgia has the depth to also win the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, and finally reach the College World Series.
Get ready Bulldog fans, 2020 is going to be Georgia baseball's year.
Georgia Baseball Schedule 2020
Feb. 14-16: RICHMOND
Feb. 19: at Kennesaw State
Feb. 21-23: SANTA CLARA
Feb. 25: KENNESAW STATE
Feb. 28: GEORGIA TECH
Feb. 29: at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
Mar. 1: Georgia Tech (Lawrenceville, GA)
Mar. 3: GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Mar. 4: Georgia Southern (North Augusta, South Carolina)
Mar. 6-8: UMASS
Mar. 11: at Georgia Southern
Mar. 13-15: at Florida*
Mar. 18: SOUTH CAROLINA-UPSTATE
Mar. 20-22: SOUTH CAROLINA*
Mar. 25: WOFFORD
Mar. 27-29: at Vanderbilt*
Mar. 31: GEORGIA STATE
Apr. 3-5: at Texas A&M*
Apr. 7: CLEMSON
Apr. 9-11: AUBURN*
Apr. 14: JACKSONVILLE STATE
Apr. 17-19: at Missouri*
Apr. 21: at Clemson
Apr. 23-25: TENNESSEE*
Apr. 28: COASTAL CAROLINA
May 1-3: OLE MISS*
May 8-10: at Arkansas*
May 12: PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE
May 14-16: KENTUCKY*
May 19-24: Southeastern Conference Tournament (Hoover, AL)
May 29-June 1: NCAA Regional
June 5-8: NCAA Super Regional
June 13-24: College World Series (Omaha, NE)
* — Denotes SEC game
ALL CAPS — Denotes home games
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