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Breakdown of LSU vs Georgia this weekend


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When: Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m., Sunday, Noon (ET)

Why the series is important: The reason this series is important probably goes without saying. The Bulldogs and Tigers are two of the nation's best teams and first place in the SEC could be on the line this weekend. To make the series even more exciting, Georgia already has sold out the three-game series, which will be played at Foley Field. It doesn't get much bigger than this in the SEC.

The buzz: Both teams enter the weekend with the ability to do much damage at the plate and shut down opposing teams on the mound. The Tigers are hitting .306 and have an earned run average of 3.62. Georgia, meanwhile, has a .323 average and a 3.47 earned run average. Also worth noting, the Tigers are fielding at a .969 clip while the Bulldogs are fielding at a .963 clip.

Spotlight players: LSU hard-hitting first baseman Sean Ochinko has had a special season at the plate. Ochinko is hitting .394 with six homers and 32 RBIs. He also is slugging .646 and has a .442 on-base percentage. Jared Mitchell and DJ LeMahieu also are having productive campaigns. Mitchell is hitting .370 with five homers and 20 RBIs, while LeMahieu is hitting .355 with three homers and 15 RBIs. On the mound, keep an eye on Louis Coleman, Anthony Ranaudo and Austin Ross. Coleman, a veteran, has appeared in 10 games and has a 1.23 ERA in 36 2/3 innings. He also has struck out 50 and walked 10, while opponents are hitting him at a .181 clip. Ranaudo is 2-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 38 innings. He also has struck out 60 and walked 13, while opponents are hitting him at a .191 clip. Ross, meanwhile, has a 2.48 ERA in 36 1/3 innings … There's no player in the country hotter than Georgia's Rich Poythress. The junior is hitting .451 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs. He also has recorded seven doubles and has a .902 slugging percentage and a .552 OBP. He also has induced 22 walks with only 10 strikeouts. Also keep an eye on Johnathan Taylor, Joey Lewis, Colby May and Bryce Massanari. Taylor is hitting .386 and has a .517 OBP. Lewis is hitting .346 with eight homers and 28 RBIs, while May is hitting .343 with nine homers and 30 RBIs. Massanari, meanwhile, is hitting .333 with six homers and 28 RBIs. On the mound, keep an eye on Trevor Holder, Alex McRee and Dean Weaver. Holder has started six games and has a 3.06 ERA in 35 1/3 innings. McRee, meanwhile, has overcome a sickness setback and has a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings. Teams are hitting the left-hander at a .221 clip. Weaver has made 13 appearances and has recorded five saves with a 1.04 ERA in 17 1/3 innings.

What to watch for: The Bulldogs should score some runs at home but I think the key to the series is the LSU offense. The Tigers were expected to have one of the nation's most prolific lineups this season, but that simply hasn't been the case as the Tigers lack consistency. If the LSU offense meets potential this weekend, the Tigers should be in business. If not, it could be a long weekend.

Kendall's take: I'm excited to see this series in Athens, Ga., this weekend. The Tigers obviously are off to a very solid start this season and the pitching staff is a pleasant surprise. Georgia's domination thus far, though, is the bigger story. Georgia is at home and record crowds are expected. It also has been recording all the key hits lately and the pitching also is in very good shape. I like the Bulldogs winning two this weekend.

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