Georgia’s Charlie Condon Pursues NCAA Records


Image credit: Charlie Condon (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Charlie Condon’s season has already been remarkable and record setting, and there’s still at least another month to play.

Condon last weekend broke both the program’s single-season and career home run records, which were both held by Gordon Beckham, who homered 28 times in 2008 and 54 times in his career. Condon homered again Tuesday in a win at Kennesaw State, his 30th in 44 games this season. He leads the nation in both home runs and home run rate (0.68 per game).

Condon is hitting .456/.563/1.088 with 30 home runs, 37 walks and 35 strikeouts in 44 games. He is the top-ranked prospect in the draft class and projects to become the first player in program history to be drafted in the top four selections. He and the Bulldogs on Friday open a crucial SEC East series against No. 14 Vanderbilt. 

Condon now is also at the precipice of more history. The most home runs a player has hit in a single season in the 21st century is 33, jointly held by Florida’s Jac Caglianone (2023) and Gonzaga’s Nate Gold (2002).

At his current pace, Condon is still six games away from breaking that record. But he’s also fully capable of going on home-run binges. Condon has homered in four straight games and has homered three times in three of Georgia’s seven SEC series. So, at least matching the mark has to be considered a possibility this weekend.

Georgia has nine games left in the regular season and is on track to make both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments, which would guarantee the Bulldogs three more games, with the possibility for many more. As long as Condon stays healthy, his pursuit of the 21st century record now appears to be a matter of when, not if.

Once that record falls, the next mark will be the SEC record of 40 home runs in a season, which was set by LSU’s Brandon Larson in 1997. At his current pace, Condon needs to play 15 more games to reach that mark. Even with just nine games left in the regular season, the Bulldogs (32-12, 10-11) can relatively easily play at least 15 more games this year thanks to the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament (the NCAA, unlike MLB, count all games, regular season or postseason, toward official records).

If Condon does reach 40 home runs this season, he will have reached truly rarified air for a college slugger. Only four players have hit 40 home runs in Division I history: Larson, Rice’s Lance Berkman (40, 1997), Florida State’s Jeff Ledbetter (42, 1982) and Oklahoma State’s Pete Incaviglia (48, 1985).

Condon in all likelihood will not make any sort of run at Incaviglia’s Division I record. To reach that mark at his current rate, Condon would need to play 27 more games, which would require Georgia to reach the finals of both the SEC Tournament and the College World Series.

The 21st century career home runs record of 74, held by Florida’s Matt LaPorta, is also likely beyond Condon’s reach—especially because LSU’s Tommy White and Florida’s Caglianone are likely to break that mark in the coming weeks, pushing it even further beyond Condon’s reach. He will likely finish his career in the top 10 in SEC history, as he needs just five more home runs to break into a group that includes LSU’s Eddy Funiss (80) and Mississippi State’s Rafael Palmerio (67) and Will Clark (61).

Condon’s exploits go far beyond his power prowess, however. He also leads the national batting race at .456. No player has led the nation in both home runs and batting since Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz hit .465 with 28 home runs in 2009. Condon ranks 10th in the nation in RBIs (63), meaning he’ll likely fall short of the triple crown. The last player to win college baseball’s triple crown was Indiana’s Mike Smith in 1992.

Condon’s batting average today is just the third best in Georgia history, falling behind Ronnie Braddock’s .489 (1962) and Charley Trippi’s .464 (1946). But those two players combined for 157 at-bats in their banner seasons. Condon already has 171. Condon is on track to set the SEC’s 21st century single-season record for hitting. That’s currently held by Tennessee’s Chris Burke, who hit .435 in 2001.

Condon and Georgia undoubtedly have their sights set on an NCAA Tournament appearance and a deep postseason run. But the rest of Condon’s season will also very much be about his pursuit of records and cementing his legacy as one of the best home run hitters in college baseball history.

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