Georgia opens SEC play later this afternoon at Texas A&M and head coach David Perno says it's time for his Bulldogs to start playing with a sense of urgency.
Thus far, that hasn't always been the case.
Perno wasn't a happy camper after Wednesday's 8-5 loss to Appalachian State, a game which if the Bulldogs had won, would have pushed Georgia over .500 for the first time since an opening night win at Georgia Southern.
With this weekend's three-game set in College Station, Tex., set to begin, Perno admits he isn't sure what to expect.
"I don't know," Perno said after Wednesday's game. "The hunger, the urgency, the urgency for greatness is definitely not in our dugout right now."
So, what's next?
According to Perno, its time the players begin taking more responsibility for their actions.
"They knew how big a game it was; I let them wear the black jerseys. I hate the back jerseys. I think they're ugly. That's what they wanted, and we didn't respond, and it's disappointing," he said. "We're in it together, but at the end of the day it's them stepping up and saying 'Let's do this boys'. You get deaf to a coach's mouth always trying to be the one to do it but you've got to have some veterans step up and lead."
Perno hopes to see some of that leadership start to step forward in this weekend's series against the Aggies (11-7).
"I'm looking through this league schedule and if we play with this passive mindset that we've demonstrated at time, we might have a tough time in this league," he said.
But Perno remains hopeful.
After this weekend's series, Georgia returns home next weekend for a three-game set against Alabama. "I think we've got a good team, don't get the wrong idea, but I didn't want us to be good, I wanted us to be great. I wanted this team to be special," he said. "They've got the makeup to do it, but it's not coming out right now. Hey, it's one game, we can go back to that but we dug ourselves this hole. We are 8-9. We put us there, there's no reset button, so every out, every game, every inning, it's got to be treated precious and we've got to take advantage of every opportunity we get. We didn't today, maybe we'll do it this weekend."
NOTES: Georgia (8-9, 0-0 SEC) went 6-3 on a season-long nine-game home stand that wrapped up Wednesday. Up next, it opens SEC action Friday at league newcomer Texas A&M (11-7, 0-0 SEC) at 7:35 p.m. ET. Game three of the Aggies series will be televised by Fox Southwest at 1 p.m. ET.
Georgia and Texas A&M were picked to finish fifth in their respective divisions by league coaches in a preseason poll.
Senior third baseman Curt Powell ranks among the SEC leaders with a .419 batting average. He is riding a 13-game hitting streak and during this stretch, he is batting .509 (29-for-57). Powell's career best is a 14-game streak in 2012. Sophomore 2B and leadoff hitter Nelson Ward has a career-best 10-game hitting streak. During his streak, he is batting .444 (20-for-45).
Georgia's rotation against Texas A&M will be the same weekend rotation it has used for the first four weekend series: Sean McLaughlin (3-0, 1.80), Fr., RHP; Patrick Boling (1-2, 4.37), RJr., LHP; Luke Crumley (1-2, 6.91), So., RHP. Boling tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with four Ks this past Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Aggies will go with senior RHP Kyle Martin (1-2, 4.07) and sophomore RHP Daniel Mengden (3-1, 2.03) in the first two games while Sunday's starter is TBA.