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            Georgia's C.J. Smith delivers a pitch against Georgia Tech on Sunday, March 1, 五福彩821ccapp, at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. The Bulldogs won 9-3.
            Photo: Christina Matacotta/For the AJC
            Photo: Christina Matacotta/For the AJC

            SEC baseball suspended with No. 2 Georgia en route to No. 1 Florida

            Stricklin got the news in the middle of the Bulldogs’ four-hour bus ride from Statesboro, where Georgia played Georgia Southern on Wednesday night, to Gainesville, Fla.

            » More AJC coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

            The Bulldogs stayed in Statesboro over night and left at 10 a.m. for the four-hour bus ride to Gainesville. They got the news a little after noon after stopping to eat at a food plaza in Brunswick.

            “Everybody was kind of spread out at different places eating, so I waited until everybody got back onto the bus,” Stricklin said. “But by them time they got there, word had already leaked out and most everybody had heard.”

            For those that hadn’t, the reaction was shock and disbelief.

            “Just kind of blank-faced unbelief,” Stricklin said. “This is what these guys have done their whole lives and now everything is up in the air. That's the thing, the uncertainty. This is uncharted territory for everybody.”


             

            It had already been a tough week for the Bulldogs before getting that news. After sweeping UMass this past weekend and moving up to Nos. 2 and 3 and the college baseball polls, Georgia (14-4) dropped two games to Georgia Southern, 1-0 in North Augusta, S.C., on Tuesday night and 6-1 on Wednesday in Statesboro.

            The Bulldogs left for Gainesville thinking they were going to play the three-game series, just without fans in attendance.

            “They were expecting 5,000 for the game,” Stricklin said of the SEC opener against the 五福彩821ccapp’s biggest rival. “It’s going to be strange for sure when you’ve got two top-five-ranked teams and no fans.”

            Now there will be no teams and no baseball through the month of March. In fact, the SEC announced that competition in all sports would be suspended through March 30. The SEC Gymnastics meet was to commence this weekend, and UGA was to host the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships next week. All events have been postponed for now.

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