A season to remember, two weekends to never forget for the Diamond Dawgs, Kudzu Hill Krazies and the entire Bulldog Nation

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A season to remember, two weekends to never forget for the Diamond Dawgs, Kudzu Hill Krazies and the entire Bulldog Nation

A season to remember, two weekends to never forget for the Diamond Dawgs, Kudzu Hill Krazies and the entire Bulldog Nation

A season to remember, two weekends to never forget … the Athens Regional and Super Regional scenes from Kudzu Hill were scripts from Hollywood. The Classic City awoke in the heat of early June, and those Kudzu Krazies answered the call to create an electric environment at Foley Field.





I previously wrote a story detailing the spectacle that was Kudzu Hill for the dramatic three wins in the Athens Regional. Visit bulldawgillustrated.com to view the article and photos from the victories over Army, UNC Wilmington and Tech as well as the Kudzu Hill accounts from the weekend. On the flipside, we will focus on the Diamond Dawgs playing host to a Super Regional where the Wolfpack of North Carolina State came to town.

To understand the full narrative of Kudzu Hill for the Super, our story begins shortly after taking down the Nerds in extra innings on Sunday, June 2. The following morning, an Athens legend and Damn Good Dawg/realtor, Joey Tucker, gave me a call about the upcoming series with the Wolfpack. 

While taking down UNC WIlmington in the Regional, Joey and I spoke with Jeff Shirey, landlord of the duplex that includes the renowned Kudzu Hill. He was thrilled to have droves of people in his tenant’s backyard. He then graciously added that if the Dawgs were to make it to the Super, we could do whatever we want to the hill to enhance the fan experience for the Kudzu Krazies.





Joey took it to heart, and on that Monday morning after a victorious regional, expressed his interest in trimming up the kudzu to create more room for the fanatics of right field. Come Tuesday morning, Joey hired Jimmy Easley’s Yard Care crew. By 10 a.m., the invasive weed that covers Georgia baseball’s greatest tradition was trimmed up just enough to make a view for hundreds more fans beyond that right field fence. 

About the same time the kudzu was cleared Tuesday morning, it was announced that Georgia would take the noon slot on Saturday and Sunday and a TBD time slot for an if necessary Monday game. Saturday morning rolled in with a heat wave and high expectations for them Diamond Dawgs. NC State put the Dawgs to sleep quickly as they scored an ugly 11 runs in the top of the second. Despite the downtrodden Dawgs showing on the diamond, those Kudzu Krazies had a historic afternoon of kudzu keg beers, cheeseburgers, fries and onion rings cheffed up by District 7 Commissioner John Culpepper and his trusty partner Mack Furlow. 

Win or go home standards loomed over the Dawgs 24 hours later, but Corey Collins, Tre Phelps, Leighton Finley and Co. stepped up to the plate. Finley pitched a gem while the Georgia bats got a kick start, and the Dawgs avoided elimination with an 11-2 win. 

Monday’s first pitch time was dependent upon the other results of Sunday’s slate. Late Sunday evening, Kentucky topped Oregon State 3-2. Georgia vs. NC State was now the only series to go to a Monday game three decider. The options for first pitch: noon or 7 p.m. The reliable Krazies begged the baseball gods (and ESPN schedulers) for a 7 p.m. slot by posting a painted bed sheet on the fence proclaiming, “WE WANT 7:00! HBTMFD!” Without their last ditch effort, the Dawgs would most likely play at noon, but thanks to their work beneath the surface, it was America’s pastime under the lights of Foley! 

Associate Athletic Director Tanner Stines dropped the message: “7:06. Period.” The Classic City’s hometown area code for the first pitch time; the rubber match and a trip to Omaha on the line. 

Alongside some friends, we painted a new bed sheet with a target and the phrase “COREY UR DUE” pasted above it. Three hours before first pitch, we hung it up and stuck around for batting practice. Collins stepped up to the plate for his turn at BP and raked a 480-foot bomb just two feet above the target. The ball practically landed in my good buddy Walker Way’s lap. We posted a video of the crater the ball left in the kudzu dirt and Walker holding the ball to @wearebuldawgs. We tagged Collins and a short two hours before game time, he replied, “Need y’all staying loud up there fellas!” The demand was given by the DGD as Collins geared up for his final game at Foley. Needless to say, the Kudzu Krazies answered yet again. 

By 7:06, there were a record number of fans atop the historic hill. Trucks piled in 15 deep with tailgate pools and more kegs for the Georgia faithful. It was an environment unlike any other, “the greatest set up in mankind for any sporting event.” 

Georgia put up a dawg fight but fell short in the end 8-5. A heartbreaker, yes, but a season to remember and two weekends to never forget from Kudzu Hill. And in his last at bat, the greatest Georgia baseball player in history, Charlie Condon, knocked his 37th home run of the season. A proper farewell in his last game wearing the Red and Black. 

Storylines, cold beer and baseball were the talk of the town as Georgia went on this historic run in year one of the Wes Johnson era. Ladies and gentlemen, I can confidently say, we will be back. This was not the end of Georgia baseball but only the beginning! Thank you, Diamond Dawgs, for memories that will last a lifetime! Thank you, Dawg Nation, for stepping up to the plate and creating a raucous environment for two legendary weekends at Foley Field! See y’all next year!





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