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March 31, 2009

Dawgs Clean Up In Knoxville, Prepare for Big Week

 (Image: Baseball America)
In a performance worthy of  folklore, Rich Poythress led the Diamond Dawgs to a clean sweep in Knoxville this past weekend.  Poythress went 6-for-10 over the series with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs.  It was quite a hitting display.  For his efforts, Poythress was named both the SEC Player of the Week and the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.  The Dawgs are now 22-3 with seven straight SEC wins and are still No. 1 in most polls.
This week, however, will reveal some answers about UGA baseball.  We've been consistent winners this year, but our schedule, to this point, has been mild.  Only Mississippi State was a Top 25 team when we played them and none of our opponents are in the top 25 now.  That will change tonight when Clemson comes to town for the first game of a midweek home-and-home series.  The Tigers are hovering in the teens in most polls and have a solid team.  Then, this weekend, another set of Tigers, the Cajun variety, come to Foley Field for an absolutely huge weekend series.  LSU is in the top 5 in the national polls and have performed up to their storied history in the past couple of years.  This is prime time for the Diamond Dawgs. 
Despite the sweep in Knoxville, normally a place where UGA baseball teams go to fail, there is some significant room for improvement.  Lefties Matt Cerione, Lyle Allen and Chase Davidson struggled against UT pitching.  Those guys must be locked in this weekend since LSU has a complete staff of excellent right handed starters in Anthony Ranaudo, Louis Coleman, and Austin Ross.  All of those guys have ERAs under 3.10.  We'll need some production out of those big lefty bats.
Alex McRee has had two mediocre starts since returning from mono.  In Saturday's game, he gave up only a single hit, but walked six over four and a third innings.  He also had 5 Ks, but you can't keep pitching out of jams against good teams.  Eventually a clutch hitter is going to burn you.  McRee has to tighten up his control because his stuff is still there. 
Three of five this week would be great, especially if two are against LSU.  Get out to Foley Field tonight and this weekend. 



Anonymous said...

Time for Johnathan Taylor to get back in the lineup. He was MIA against Ufk, and I hope that is because Perno has been holding him back.

You will see in Jared Mitchell, a kid for LSU who runs about a 4.2 40m, what speed does to the opposition, and Taylor can be like that for us. Cerione is really scuffling, and JT is a prototypical leadoff man.

He started the season on fire and has cooled as SEC play has started, but I think he will be ready to crank it up again this weekend.

Anonymous said...

should have seen mitchell score from first on a single in the gap. there hasnt been many that can do that.

should be an entertaining wkend.

Anonymous said...

LSU was a lot of fun to watch in the WS last year. They had a dramatic win to stave off elimination.

Should be a great series. I think Georgia will pull 2/3 from LSU but split with Clemson.

JT will be back; he's made some mental/baserunning errors in the series with LSU. He's fast and he can hit.

Georgia's version of "Murderer's Row" of Poythress, Massanari and Lewis in the middle of the lineup should keep the ball rolling.

Skeptic Dawg said...

What a great week for the Dawgs! If any of you have not made it to Foley Field for a game, I strongly suggest that you make the trip. College baseball is the best bang for your buck out there in college sports. And the Dawgs are an exciting team to watch. They have solid pitching, speed in the field and on the base paths, not to mention some pop in their bats. Keep up the good work Dawgs! Here's to a great weekend series.

Anonymous said...

GSB Guys:

May want to check this out about the right field houses

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