Georgia’s back on a roll — after sweeping Missouri (their first road sweep since 2015), the Bulldogs have catapulted to #16 in the NCAA top 25 after briefly falling out of the rankings following three straight conference series losses. Georgia has won six of their last seven and sit comfortably in second place in the SEC East — just behind the first place Florida Gators, who host the Dawgs this weekend in Gainesville.
Georgia’s recent spark can, in no small part, be contributed to sophomore Adam Sasser, who went 7-for-13 with FOUR home runs and ten RBI in the past week. That’s four home runs over the course of four games. That performance was good enough to be named SEC Player of the Week by the SEC office followed by National Player of the Week honors handed down by Collegiate Baseball.
It’s no doubt been the most productive week at the plate for the Greenbriar High graduate, who leads the team with an incredible .381 in conference action. He also ranks second on the team in home runs, just behind senior Keegan McGovern. Interestingly enough, Sasser has been most clutch in conference action, where he’s hitting around 80 points higher against tougher SEC competition than non-conference teams.
It’s truly been a special year for the sophomore — who gives Georgia fans reasons to hope for the future of this young team who stumbled to another depressing finish (11-19) last season. It’s been young players like Sasser who have helped lead the baseball renaissance in Athens. In his freshman campaign, Sasser hit .245/.299/.308. In 2018, he’s exploded, hitting .343/.395/.547. That’s nearly a ONE HUNDRED point improvement for the sophomore.
Speaking of offensive improvements for this year’s club, FOUR players currently hold a higher batting average than last year’s leader in BA (Tucker Bradley, .314). The team as a whole is hitting .287, a cumulative 30 point improvement from last year’s team average of .257. It’s almost unbelievable improvements for a remarkably similar team over the course of one year.
As I mentioned heading into the season, many young guys who suffered last year were going to have to really step up this year for Georgia to have a good season in 2018, along with career years from upperclassmen Keegan McGovern and Michael Curry. While we saw glimpses of hope toward the end of last season with regards to young players such as Sasser, I never would’ve imagined we’d see such an astronomical improvement across the board.
Sasser and the young Dawgs have once again found their momentum — and at the perfect time — as they face #1 Florida and #7 Arkansas to wrap up conference play. They need one win to guarantee a winning season and they look in perfect shape to make the NCAA tournament of the first time in seven years. For more on those matchups and the home stretch of Georgia’s season, check out our recent article here.