Daily Dawg Thread: May 03, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: May 03, 2024

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BSB: No. 18 Bulldogs Battle No. 13 Vandy At Foley Field

 The 18th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs play host to No. 13 Vanderbilt starting Friday at 6:02 pm. Saturday’s game will be at 2:02 p.m. The Sunday game features the annual Lettermen’s Day, and it begins at 1:02 p.m. All three will be streamed on SECN+ and available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

Georgia (32-12, 10-11 SEC), under the direction of Ike Cousins head baseball coach Wes Johnson, closed out its non-conference slate this past Tuesday with a 9-3 road win over Kennesaw State. The Bulldogs finished 22-1 (.957) out of conference during the regular season, which is the best winning percentage in those games in school history. The previous mark was .907 by the 1980 squad that went 24-2-1. VU comes to town with a 32-13 mark and 11-10 in the SEC.





Stay Hot: The Bulldogs rank third nationally with a school record 113 home runs. The old mark was 109 by the 2009 club in 62 games. Also, this year’s squad has hit a school record 10 grand slams. Georgia is third nationally with a .596 slugging percentage while it is sixth in on base percentage at .435. The Bulldogs are batting .304 with a 5.39 team ERA and a .975 fielding percentage. The Commodores are batting .291 with 50 home runs, a .472 SLG% and .386 OB%. VU owns a 4.40 ERA and a .977 FLDG%.





*Top Hitters To Watch: The Bulldog offense is headlined by redshirt-sophomore All-America Charlie Condon. The potential top draft pick in 2024 according to MLB.com, he leads the NCAA with a .456 batting average, a school record 30 home runs, 186 total bases, a 1.088 SLG%. He has a .563 OB% (third nationally) with 37 walks (17 intentional) and 63 RBI. Senior Corey Collins is enjoying a fine year at .370-13-40 while leading the country with a .599 OB%. He ranks eighth nationally with an SEC-leading and school record 20 HBP this year.

        Condon has smashed a school record 55 career home runs in only 100 games The old mark belonged to former first round draft pick Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox) who hit 53 in 197 games. This season, Condon has had seven games with multiple home runs including a school record-tying three home runs against Michigan State.

        VU’s top hitters are Matthew Polk (.323-5-17), Jonathan Vastine (.322-7-32) while RJ Austin (.302-5-46) is 20-for-23 in stolen bases. VU is 78-for-90 in stolen base attempts.

Series History With VU: Georgia leads the series 124-117 going back to 1897. Georgia’s last series win came in 2021 in Nashville when the Commodores were ranked No. 1, and the Bulldogs beat them 14-2 and 9-1 while dropping the middle game 5-2. In 2022, VU won a series 2-1 in Athens which marked the last time the teams met in a Top 25 match. The Commodores were No. 14 and the Bulldogs were No. 16. Last year, No. 4 VU swept Georgia 9-2, 16-8 and 4-0.

Georgia-VU Pitching Matchups

G1-Leighton Finley (3-1, 5.10 ERA), RHP, So., vs. Bryce Cunningham (6-2, 3.98 ERA), RHP, Jr.

G2-Charlie Goldstein (4-1, 4.01 ERA), LHP, Gr., vs. Carter Holton, LHP, Jr.

G3-TBA vs. TBA

        Goldstein was the Opening Day starter and served as the game one series starter this season until shoulder fatigue shut him down for a couple weeks in April. His last three appearances have been in relief, coming against Ole Miss, No. 4 Clemson and No. 1 Texas A&M. These outings tallied five innings, and he allowed just two runs on two hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. Finley moved into the top spot the past two SEC weekends and has gone five innings in each of his last three starts.

Rutherford Street Closure: Please note this season that one hour before game time, Rutherford Street, next to Foley Field, will be closed to vehicle traffic until 30 minutes post-game. 

Friday at 6:02 p.m. ET (SECN+)

Radio: 960TheRef (Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston)


TV: SECN+ (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs)


Live Stats: https://georgiadogs.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary

Saturday at 2:02 p.m. ET (SECN)

Radio: 960TheRef (Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston)


TV: SECN+ (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs)


Live Stats: https://georgiadogs.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary

Sunday at 1:02 p.m. ET (SECN+)

Radio: 960TheRef (Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston)


TV: SECN+ (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs)


Live Stats: https://georgiadogs.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary

Foley Field Tickets/Parking/Promotions Information

*Limited General Admission Seating for Friday & Sunday Only: $10; Saturday is Sold Out

*Call 1-877-542-1231 or order online at https://georgiadogs.evenue.net/list/BBS

*Foley Field Gates/Ticket Windows open one hour before game time.

*Free parking is available in the commuter surface lot behind the outfield. 

*Please note this season Rutherford Street, next to Foley Field, will be closed to vehicle traffic one hour prior to baseball games until 30 minutes post-game.

*UGA Student Tickets: Free Admission with UGA ID; Enter Student Gate G on Rutherford Street

*Special Promotions/Giveaways: Friday: 1st 500 fans get a free Georgia Hawaiian shirt; Saturday: Foley Fest and Georgia Mini Batting Helmet for the 1st 1,000 fans; Georgia Radio Crew Recognition (pregame/1st pitch Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston); Sunday: Lettermen’s Day (pregame/3 awards presented); Children can participate in Anthem Buddies pregame and Run the Bases postgame

MBB: Somtochukwu “Somto” Cyril, a consensus four-star prospect, has signed a letter-of-intent with the Georgia Bulldogs

Photo: Georgia Sports Communications

Somtochukwu “Somto” Cyril, a consensus four-star prospect ranked among the nation’s top-50 players in the Class of 2024, has signed a letter-of-intent with the Georgia Bulldogs, head coach Mike White announced on Thursday.

Cyril, a 6-10, 252-pound center originally from Enugu, Nigeria, has played with the Overtime Elite program in Atlanta for the past two seasons. He is ranked as high as No. 42 by On3.com in the Class of 2024, as well as No. 46 by 247Sports.com, No. 49 by ESPN.com and No. 53 by Rivals.com.

Georgia’s 2024-25 roster will feature five freshmen and sophomores ranked among the top-100 prospects in their class – Asa Newell and Cyril from 2024 and Blue Cain, Silas Demary Jr. and Dylan James from 2023.

In two seasons at OTE Cyril averaged 8.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. He was named the OTE Defensive Player of the Year in 2023 after averaging a league-high 3.2 bpg while splitting the season playing for Cold Hearts OLD and City Reapers OLD. Cyril again led OTE in blocks during the 2023-24 campaign at 3.3 bpg and ranked No. 4 in rebounding at 9.3 rpg. He helped lead RWE to a fourth-place finish in the regular season before the team defeated the top 2 seeds in the playoffs to capture an OTE Championship.

Cyril began his high school basketball career at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. During the 2021-22 season, he averaged 8.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game highlighted by a triple-double of 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks against Carolina Basketball Academy.

Cyril is the fifth newcomer for Georgia’s 2024-25 roster. He is the second freshman, joining Newell, a 6-10, 215-pound power forward from Destin, Fla., ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 247Sports.com composite ledger for Class of 2024 prep prospects, who signed with the Bulldogs last fall. 

Georgia also has announced the signing of three players from the transfer portal – Frank Abson, a 6-9, 235-pound forward from Pompano Beach, Fla., who was named the 2024 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing No. 4 nationally in blocked shots last season at Appalachian State; Dakota Leffew, a 6-5, 185-pound guard from Jonesboro, Ga., who earned first-team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) honors last season as a senior at Mount St. Mary’s; and De’Shayne Montgomery, a 6-4, 190-pound guard from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who won 2024 MAAC Rookie of the Year accolades also playing for Mount St. Mary’s last season.

Mike White enters his third season at Georgia looking to continue steady and significant improvement. In his first campaign, the Bulldogs upped their regular-season win total by 10 victories, the second-largest increase of any Power conference program. Georgia advanced to the semifinals of the 2024 NIT while also posting the Bulldogs first 20-win season since 2016. 

For information on purchasing new season tickets for the Bulldogs click here.

To request information on tickets to Georgia Basketball click here.

SB: No. 14/12 Georgia (37-13, 11-10) at No. 20/19 Mississippi State (31-16, 10-11) this evening

First Pitch: 5 p.m. ET / 1 P.m. ET / 12 p.m. ET

Location: Starkville, Miss.

Stadium: Nusz Park

Media Information

TV: SEC Network (Sunday)

   Play-by-play: Eric Frede

   Analysis: Madison Shipman

Streaming: SEC Network+ (Friday, Saturday)

Live Stats: GeorgiaDogs.com

Twitter Updates: @UGAsoftball

The 14th-ranked Georgia softball team will travel to Starkville, Mississippi this weekend for a three-game series against No. 20 Mississippi State. The series begins Friday evening at 5 p.m. ET.

Saturday’s game will start at 1 p.m. ET with Sunday’s finale set to air on SEC Network beginning at 12 p.m. ET.

Follow the Bulldogs

– Friday and Saturday’s games will stream live on SEC Network+.

– Sunday’s game will air live on SEC Network. Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Madison Shipman (analyst) will be on the call. – Live stat links can be found on the softball schedule page on GeorgiaDogs.com.

– Live Twitter updates will be available on the official Twitter page of Georgia softball, @UGAsoftball.

Series History

– Georgia leads the all-time series 34-30

– UGA is 14-16 all-time on the road in the series

– Mississippi State swept the last series in Starkville in 2021; Georgia won the previous series there in 2018

– Last season’s series was cut short due to weather, but Georgia won the first two games of the tilt in Athens, both shutouts

– Georgia and Mississippi State have split the last 10 meetings, 5-5

Georgia in the Polls

Georgia in the Poll: Week 12

     – USA Today/NFCA: 14

     – ESPN/USA Softball: 12

     – D1Softball: 14

     – Softball America: 13

     – RPI: 6

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Recapping Action

Georgia dropped its final home series of the season over the weekend to Florida. The Gators won the opener in five innings, 9-1, handing the Bulldogs their first run-rule loss of the season. Georgia rebounded in game two, blasting five home runs while Lilli Backes pitched a complete game in the circle to level the weekend series. With Georgia holding a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh in game three, Florida rallied for seven unearned runs to take a 10-4 lead. Jayda Kearney knocked a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning, but the rally fell short in the end, 10-7.

A Look at What’s Ahead

Georgia will set its sights on the SEC Softball Tournament next week in Auburn, Alabama. Georgia will play Wednesday. The final bracket and matchups will be announced Sunday evening. Georgia is 22-26 all time in the SEC Tournament and its lone championship was 10 years ago in 2014.

Shelby Suplee

Coaching Connection

Former Georgia Bulldog Shelby Suplee is currently in her first season as the strength and conditioning coach for Mississippi State softball. Suplee was a Georgia Bulldog from 2018-21 and was a member of two Women’s College World Series teams (2018, 2021). Following graduation, Suplee was a graduate assistant for the Georgia Sports Performance staff before being hired by MSU in January.

Jaiden Fields

Senior Bats Come Alive for Senior Weekend

The senior class had a big offensive series against Florida in the final home series of the season. Four seniors combined to hit eight of Georgia’s nine home runs on the weekend, led by three from Sara Mosley and two each from Jaiden Fields and Sydney Kuma. Of Georgia’s 19 RBI on the weekend, seniors were responsible for all but one. Seven seniors combined to hit .347 on the weekend, scattering 17 hits.

Lilli Backes

Backes Out of the Bullpen

Lilli Backes currently has six saves on the season, the second-most in the SEC. Her six saves is third-most in a single season at Georgia and is already top 10 in career saves. She has finished the most games of anyone in the SEC, completing 18 games. She also has appeared in relief the second most; 21 of her 33 appearances have been in relief.

Sara Mosley

Sara Mosley: The RBI Machine

Sara Mosley currently ranks third in the SEC with 56 total RBI this season, which ranks 15th in the country. Her 1.12 RBI per game is third in the conference and 26th in the country. She has recorded 12 multi-RBI games this season, four of which she drove in five or more runs. Her 291 career RBI rank fifth all-time at Georgia, and she is currently sixth among active Division I players. Her 61 home runs is seven shy of tying Alyssa DiCarlo’s record of 69 set in 2019.

MTEN: No. 38 GEORGIA (14-13, 5-7 SEC) VS. No. 21 ARIZONA STATE (17-9, 4-2 Pac-12)

The Georgia men’s tennis team will begin its journey in the NCAA Tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C. in the Wake Forest Regional against Arizona State on Friday, May 3 at 2 p.m. ET at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

No. 38 GEORGIA (14-13, 5-7 SEC) VS. No. 21 ARIZONA STATE (17-9, 4-2 Pac-12)

Date: May 3, 2024

Time: 2 p.m. ET

Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Venue: Wake Forest Tennis Complex

Live Stats: https://gado.gs/8d6

Live Video: https://gado.gs/8d8 


Friday, May 3
2 p.m. — Georgia vs. Arizona State

5 p.m. — (6) Wake Forest vs. South Carolina State

Saturday, May 4
5 p.m. — Men’s Second Round Match

The First Serve: Georgia’s first round match against Arizona State will mark the second meeting between the programs, with the previous contest also coming in the NCAA Tournament during the round of 16 in 1995. The Bulldogs defeated the Sun Devils, 4-1, on May 13, 1995, eventually reaching the semifinals. Georgia competed against seven of the 16 seeded teams during its 2024 dual match campaign (No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Virginia, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 6 Wake Forest, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 15 Texas A&M, No. 16 Mississippi State).

Georgia has hosted the NCAA Regionals in Athens at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex for 17 out of the 19 NCAA Tournaments since 2004. In addition to 2024, the other season the Bulldogs did not host the first and seconds during that stretch came in 2019, where Georgia participated in the Chapel Hill Regional hosted by North Carolina.

NCAA Tournament: Georgia will be seeking its seventh NCAA Championship (1985, 1987, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008) in its 45th total NCAA Tournament appearance. Its six titles place it fourth all-time behind Southern California (21), Stanford (17) and UCLA (16). The program holds a 117-40 record in the event since it began in 1979.

In head coach Manuel Diaz’s previous 35 seasons, he has led the Bulldogs to a quarterfinals appearance in 28 years. Most recently, Georgia finished its season in the quarterfinals in 2023, falling to Ohio State. All told, the Bulldogs have made it to at least the round of 16 in 39 of their 44 NCAA Tournament runs.

Georgia’s most recent national title came in 2008, earning the second title in as many years. Across the two seasons, Georgia went 59-3. The Dan Magill Tennis Complex has been host of 32 NCAA Championships. Five of Georgia’s six tournament titles have come at its home venue, with the lone outlier being the team’s run in 2008 coming in Tulsa, Okla.

Dawgs in the Rankings: Georgia moved to No. 38 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings that were updated on Tuesday, May 3.

In singles, Thomas Paulsell leads the team with a No. 36 ranking, which set a new career best. The junior plays on court one and has won six matches against ranked opponents this season. He is followed by No. 69 Ryan Colby, who leads the team in ranked wins with nine, which was good for third-most in the SEC to cap off the regular season.

Freddy Blaydes and Niels Ratiu lead the team in doubles on the court and in the rankings. The pair plays on court one and is ranked No. 22, earning career bests for both freshmen. Blaydes and Ratiu’s highest-ranked win came on March 24 when they beat No. 29 Bozo Barun and Jared Horwood of Arkansas by a 6-2 score. Ratiu and Colby round out Georgia’s student-athletes in the doubles poll at No. 73.

Dangerous in Doubles: Georgia enters the NCAA Tournament having won the doubles point in 10 of its previous 11 matches where the competition was played. Since winning the doubles point at No. 12 Texas A&M on March 17, the team is a combined 21-6 in doubles. Freshman Ratiu finished the regular season with 23 wins in doubles competition, good for most in the league. Ratiu earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on March 27.

WTEN: Georgia opens the 2024 NCAA Tournament against Alabama State today at Dan Magil

Aysegul Mert

  The No. 7 Georgia women’s tennis is set to open up its first match of the 2024 NCAA Tournament against Alabama State on Friday, May 3 at 1 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

After earning a top-eight seed in the tournament, the Bulldogs (20-4, 12-1 SEC) will play host to the Athens Regional, welcoming No. 20 Florida State, UNC Asheville, and Alabama State.

Friday’s action will begin with Florida State battling UNC Asheville at 10 a.m. ET, before Georgia hosts Alabama State at 1 p.m. ET. The winners of those first round matches will play on Saturday for spot in the Super Regionals at 1 p.m.

The Bulldogs received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for 37th-consecutive season, posting an all-time tournament record of 93-34.

This season now marks a 13th consecutive year that Georgia has earned a host position for the first and second rounds of the tournament.

The Bulldogs head into the tournament with two titles under their belt, first securing a share of the SEC regular season title before taking the SEC Tournament crown under first-year head coach Drake Bernstein.

Georgia will compete in a chase for its seventh national championship, where it came up one round short after reaching the semifinals last season.


Date: Friday, May 3

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Location: Athens, Ga.

Venue: Dan Magill Tennis Complex

Live Video/Scoring: https://gado.gs/bto

Cracked Racquets: https://gado.gs/btp

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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