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BULLDOGS-EXTRA

Top MLB prospects Charlie Condon, Jac Caglianone on display in Georgia-Florida series

Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia baseball home games this season have turned into the Charlie Condon Show, but thereֱs a co-star for the three-game series that starts Thursday night.

Florida slugger and pitcher Jac Caglianone and Condon could take turns sending batted balls into the trees beyond the outfield fence at Foley Field.

So what should fans expect watching the power-hitting duo?

ֱHopefully not too many intentional walks,ֱ Georgia coach Wes Johnson said Wednesday afternoon. ֱYouֱre looking at probably the top two players in college baseball are going to square off this weekend. Obviously Jac will pitch at some point Iֱm sure. That will be a lot of fun.ֱ

The 6-foot-6, 216-pound Condon leads the nation in home runs with 34, batting average at .454 and slugging percentage at 1.082 and tops the SEC with 88 hits and 75 runs for the 8th-ranked Bulldogs. Caglianone is second in home runs with 28 and second in the SEC behind Condon in batting average at .418, hits with 82 and slugging percentage at .862.

Both are pegged as top picks for the July MLB Draft.

Keith Law of The Athletic has Condon No. 2 and Caglianone No. 5. MLB Pipelineֱs Jonathan Mayo has Condon No. 1 and Caglianone No. 3. ESPNֱs Kiley McDaniel has Condon No. 2 and Caglianone No. 3.

Condon and Caglianone became close when playing together for Team USA last summer and theyֱve stayed in touch. Caglianone reached out to Condon when the Georgia redshirt sophomore moved ahead of him to set the home run record in the BBCOR era with his 34th of the season last Thursday, topping Caglianoneֱs output from last season.

The 6-5, 250-pound Caglianone carries a 30-game hitting streak into the series, which is tied for the longest in school history with current Washington National Jacob Young. Condon has hit safely in 21 straight games.

Caglianone is a two-way player who plays first base and is a left-handed pitcher.

He is 5-1 and 10th in the SEC in ERA at 4.07 and seventh in opponent batting average at .214. The junior from Tampa has started 12 games on the mound with a team-high 66 strikeouts.

Heֱs slated to start Saturday.

ֱHeֱs a high velo pitcher,ֱ Condon said. ֱHeֱs been a lot better with his off speed command recently. Itֱs different for every hitter. Just knowing that youֱve got to be ready to get in the box and do damage from the first pitch to the last pitch of every at bat. You canֱt take a pitch off against a guy that is that good.ֱ

No. 8 Georgia will start righty Kolten Smith and Florida will counter with lefty Pierce Coppola in Thursdayֱs 6 p.m. game. Georgia righty Leighton Finley goes up against Florida righty Liam Peterson Friday and the Bulldogs Saturday starter is to be determined.

Condon, a third baseman/outfielder, is hardly the only big basher on the Bulldogs who are third in the nation in homers with 133.

Reigning SEC player of the week Tre Phelps hit .429 with four home runs, a double and drove in nine runs in Georgiaֱs sweep over South Carolina last weekend.

Condon saw an eight-game home run streak end last Friday at South Carolina. Caglianone holds the NCAA record with nine set in April.

Caglianone has 68 career home runs in three seasons. Condon has a Georgia record 59 in two.

They will try to add to those numbers as the teams close out the regular season.