The end of the regular season suddenly grew nearer with the cancellation of the Presbyterian vs. Georgia baseball game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 15th. It was the second such cancellation of a UGA baseball game this season, as home versus Georgia State (2/28) was likewise called ahead of time, Georgia later whipping GSU of Atlanta, at the Bus Yard (played in Decatur, Ga.).
Of note, the Diamond Dawgs remarkably dropped only one game facing in-state opposition all season, that falling back in the opening series of the season, won two-games-to-one over Georgia Southern. Georgia swept Georgia Tech over three games and Kennesaw State University in two, as well, in an impressive effort for the Flagship. UGA swept Tech in the Big 3 sports.
Now, SEC West leader Arkansas visits Athens to close out the regular season. Dawgs are 2nd in the SEC East this year, so it looks like a mighty matchup on paper. I have a special rooting interest in the meetings in that my father-in-law, retired Army Colonel Buddy Buck, is a huge Arkansas supporter.
The weekend Florida series at the baseball Swamp went as likely an outcome as any should have expected, with the (#1) defending national champion home team winning a contested series 2-to-1. Georgia battled mightily and took the lead with a grand slam in the opener Friday, but the Gators showed incredible grit in battling back to win a heartbreaker 7-6. The Bulldogs hung around only part of the day Saturday, when it was low scoring, then the Florida bats lit up for nine runs, on a very hot day in Gainesville. Meanwhile, UGA was shut down by their ace pitching, getting a lone run. The game was on national television and a definite low point for any of the big TV games Georgia has been scheduled in this season. But, Ol’ Georgia battled back Sunday to salvage some respect and momentum with a crucial 4-1 win on departure day, which had to feel good for the team. The Gators have not dropped a series this year.
What a dynamite season for the Dawgs! While senior Keegan McGovern has slipped from SEC Player of the Year pace some, he has clearly been Georgia’s MVP, named National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week this season and consistently throwing up big games. A junior, Adam “The Assassinator” Sasser had a three-homer game this season, which then brought his homer total to just five (he has eight now) – though he has been the top contributor in batting average – likewise winning said weekly national and conference recognitions. Sophomore Aaron Schunk has proven to be the most versatile player: playing a mean third base, hitting well and closing games. The hitting and pitching throughout the lineup and the bullpen have been there this season in Athens, kudos to Coach Scott Stricklin.
Speaking of Athens, the Dawgs are a lights out 21-5 playing at Foley Field. Getting Arkansas for this “here upcomin’ Hog-Dog Rodeo” in the Classic City, and the most likely outcome is Georgia wins the series two-games-to-one. The series’ schedule is: THU 7p; FRI 7p; SAT Noon.
Then, Georgia will be headed to Hoover for the SEC Tournament. This team has a real shot to make some noise in the postseason, folks.