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April 6, 2009

Diamond Dawgs Shrink Under the Bright Lights

After two clutch midweek wins over Clemson, Georgia baseball hosted LSU this past weekend in the first heavyweight clash of the schedule.  With the eyes of college baseball on Athens, the Diamond Dawgs came up short, one game to two.
Friday night saw the UGA bats wither against LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo.  The righty struck out ten and solved the white hot Rich Poythress, who struck out three times.  When Ranaudo wasn't striking batters out, he was working out of jams, as the Dawgs stranded 11 baserunners.  Trevor Holder made three bad pitches and the Tigers drove them way out of the park.  The game was out of hand by the time Georgia rallied for four runs in the eighth and ninth innings, powered primarily by Bryce Massanari's two homers.  Massanari went 3-for-5, breaking out of his conference play doldrums. 
Saturday's game was more like a church softball game than a baseball contest.  Georgia jumped out to a big 10-3 lead before LSU charged back for five in the eigth and ninth innings.  Massanari stayed hot and Poythress bounced back to go 3-for-5.  May, Cerione, and Lewis also had big offensive days.  Alex McRee got into and out of some serious jams, but pitched well enough to hold the Tigers to a couple of earned runs. Lyle Allen hurt his leg Saturday and didn't play Sunday.  Not sure when he'll be back.
So, Sunday's game was the all important rubber match and it lived up to the hype.  The game was tight throughout, as UGA made two combacks to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth on a Matt Cerione homer.  The next inning, Chase Davidson dropped a two out fly ball in right and LSU freshman Mikie Mahtook took Will Harvil deep on the next at bat.  Those two unearned runs were the difference.  LSU won 7-5 behind an impressive pitching performance by Louis Coleman, LSU's ace, who worked eight innings and must have thrown over 125 pitches.  The Dawgs threatened in the bottom of the ninth, but Zach Cone struck out with two runners on.
The series saw some good and a lot of bad.  Bryce Massanari (8-for-13), Colby May (6-for-9) and Matt Cerione (6-for-11) put up big offensive numbers.  McRee and Grimm pitched well enough to win.  Demperio, Davison and Cerione made some brilliant defensive plays.  On the other hand, the defense made seven errors this weekend, including Davidson's critical drop.  LSU made none.  The pitching staff walked 17 batters.  LSU walked eight.  If you give good teams extra chances, you'll need to play a lot better than they do.  We didn't this weekend.  There were also several odd baserunning decisions that cost us.  
I don't want to take anything away from the Tigers who pitched exceedingly well, but if we made that many mistakes and the rubber game was that close, it makes you think we gave the series away.  We're still leading the SEC East by a game and trail Arkansas by two games for the league lead.    The team has got to play better defense and stop walking batters.  Winthrop visits Athens Tuesday and Wednesday before the Dawgs head to Lexington this weekend.



Anonymous said...

So I read all this, only to still not know what the score was from the first 2 games. Nice detail and analysis, but the final score would be beneficial too.

Anonymous said...

David Perno=Fail

See: Last year's CWS

fisheriesdawg said...

We're two games behind Arkansas, not one (10-2 vs. 8-4).

ChiliDawg said...

Friday LSU won 8-4. Saturday Georgia won 10-8. Sunday LSU won 7-5.

Yesterday's game was one of the worst officiated baseball games I've ever watched in my life. Period.

Quinton McDawg said...

My bad. I've fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Perno didn't fail last year nor did the team. Fresno won the CWS with questionable bats and steroids.

Anonymous said...

I agree. We should be proud of the Team, last year and this year.

Anonymous said...


There was nothing wrong with Fresno's bats. The problem was OUR suck Nike bats. As evidence that there's nothing wrong with Fresno's bats, we're using them this year...I think.

I know we're not using NIKE bats.

As for the juicing....I think that's sour grapes. It was just an overwhelming difference in bat technologies.

They made the midseason switch to the new bats, and we were stuck with the NIKE bats that kept breaking.

ChiliDawg said...

Tuesday's game has been moved to Wednesday and they will play a double header per

The Watch Dawg said...

The dropped fly ball was a mistake that killed us... but so was Grimm serving up a belt high fastball on a 2-2 count with 2 outs and 2 empty bases. He didn't have to give the batter anything to hit, but he gave him a gift that he made him pay for.

What irks me the most was the terrible officiating from the home plate umpire. A game that important shouldn't be marred by something like that. And it wasn't just one-sided, both teams were getting bad calls. I'm not saying it would have changed the outcome, but it certainly makes it harder for both the pitchers and the hitters when the strike zone moves around constantly.

From what I saw though, we are two very evenly matched teams, and that series could have gone either way. I think the Dawgs will regroup from this and continue to play very good ball... I won't be surprised if we meet up with LSU in Omaha.

Anonymous said...

So why didn't WE switch bats? Was it a K? Did Fresno's K conveniently expire mid-season?

Despite the bat switch - those otherwise very average hitters were all-of-a-sudden Reggie Jackson circa 1977. Even the little guys that played 2nd and short.

I played competitive baseball until I was 22 years old and I can promise you - the bat can make a slight difference, but nothing like we saw with Fresno.

Anonymous said...

booo hooo
what's next...was fresno throwing the ball faster because they got to use a different baseball too. i guess we can add this one to the list of excuses of why you lose. if its not losing to fresno because they had different bats, your complaining that you lose to florida because its played in jacksonville which is in the state of florida. let me guess you lost basketball games because your opponents shoes allowed them to jumo higher or was it their rim was bigger so they made mroe shots?

David Manning said...

Not to add on to the Bat controversy.....

Last year when we got to Omaha and UGA's first practice, i grabbed the video camera and started shooting when Ryan Peisel stepped into the cage.

First pitch, broken bat. Peisel gets a new bat and breaks that one within minutes.

I saw a lot of broken bats over those two weeks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nike,

Stick to shoes.


Easton Baseball Bats

PS. Your golf clubs suck too.

JB said...

PWD- when does spring football start? I'm really excited about the extensive coverage you always do. Can't wait! Oh, what?!? G day game is saturday?!? Great coverage of the one sport we all really care about!

Squarebush said...

JB -

If football is all you care about, there are other great sites you could be looking at. Check the links under "Top UGA Blogs & Sites" on the left of the page. Lots of links to coverage you are craving.

Keep up the good work GSB fellas. One of the best UGA-related sites out there.

The Watch Dawg said...

How does anybody not get into UGA baseball? I just don't understand it...

JB said...

my entire post was sarcasism. football is not the only sport i care about, but it is the sport i care MOST about. A little spring coverage would be nice. this is the only blog i read, i am too busy to surf all over the net to get my fix on news. UGA baseball is awesome, i was in omaha last year, PWD did great covering the coaching search. just a little football please!

Anonymous said...


I appreciate your comments. But brother....

Nothing is happening in spring football. We lost about 20 seniors to graduation, and we've got another 20-30 kids in green jerseys.

That leaves us with about 40 healthy kids for Spring. There's absolutely nothing happening of interest right now.

We're going to look like a$$ on Saturday for ESPN. We don't have a pot to piss in at DE. The RB situation is totally unclear, and it won't be clear after Saturday either.

And the QB situation doesn't seem to matter because Cox goes 6-18 and stays #1 while Murray goes for 140 yards again and doesn't move up past our punt returner.

Nothing is happening of interest.

If I start in on spring, I'm going to unleash a tirade about what a damn waste it was to have Logan Gray at Punt Returner last year. And then I'll be in a bad mood all day.

It just is what it is. Least interesting spring in almost 20 years of following the Dawgs.


JB said...

is murray really looking THAT much better than cox?

Anonymous said...

Who knows. but his stats are are sh*tload better. The beat writers haven't really dug into that at all. At least not that I've seen.

Is Murray playing against the C team defense? Or the A defense?

Is Cox going against the 1s? Who knows. Like I said man, there is NOTHING coming out of Spring.

jb said...

Just talked to my buddy, he's a walk on free safety, murray is going against the defense that has 0 defensive ends while cox is going against the number 1s, according to my buddy murray has all day long to throw, and is finding wide open recievers for bombs bc he is going against a terrible secondary(the one my buddy is in)

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