Talking baseball with Perno . . .

  Georgia’s baseball team has had an up-and-down season, from a No. 1 ranking to an eight-losses-in-nine-games tailspin.  I chatted with coach David Perno in an otherwise empty dugout before practice one day last week and, although I should have posted this sooner,  wanted to share some of what he had to say:

   On this season’s attendance, which set a school record Sunday: “Yeah, it is [gratifying]. We’ve come a long way. Even a good year like ’01, even that year, the place wasn’t sold out until the [NCAA] Regional. So it’s been fun to watch. And I don’t think obviously you can just give this team the credit. It started with the ’04 team; they created a lot of interest. And the ’06 team and the ’08 team. . . . I didn’t want people to come for the promotions or the marketing;  I wanted them to come because we’ve got a good product and are fun to watch. I’ve always been a big believer in that.”

   On this topsy-turvy season: “[On balance], we’re where we should be. We obviously have some returners and some guys who have been around and done a great job  for us. But by the same token it was a relatively new pitching staff, and your shortstop and third basemen are true freshmen, [although] those two have done a great job. . . . At the same time, when we were No. 1, we weren’t No. 1.  But it’s not that we can’t finish there. . . . It just seems everything bad spread throughout our team [recently]. Bad baseball is contagious — just like good hitting is contagious. . . .  We’re still a little disappointed we’re out of the [SEC regular-season] race, but at the same time we’re really anticipating regrouping and getting a fresh start and playing our style.  We haven’t really  put everything together [at one point] all year. It was always something: either struggling defensively, or striking out 15 or 16 times a game, or walking too many. We’ve never  pitched like we’re capable, played the kind of defense we’re capable and swung the bats like we’re capable, all at the same time. If we can get this team to do that together, I think this team could be very special and tough to beat in the postseason.”

   Speaking of the postseason: “I think we can get where we ultimately want to be [which is the College World Series]. I think we’re good enough to do that. The team has shown those capabilities. Now, we just got to improve our seed. I think we’re good enough and very capable of making some noise in the postseason, because of our starting pitching and our bullpen and our lineup.”

   On the season’s biggest surprise: “I did not expect to hit the home runs; that is the surprise. Everyone thought we didn’t have any power. And all of a sudden we’re going to shatter every school record. . . . Before it’s all said and done, we’re going to have five guys with double-digit home runs and probably two with 20-plus.”

   Next up, as you probably know: The Bulldogs play Georgia Tech at Turner Field on Tuesday night.

   

 

 

 

 

 

40 comments Add your comment

LSU

May 11th, 2009
1:46 pm

UGA’s baseball team was OVERRATTED from the begining. That weak @ss schedule is what made you look so good to get to #1. A team that gets slammed in the SEC like uga has this year will not make it out of the regionals.

Gator Man

May 11th, 2009
2:08 pm

I agree with LSU, Georgia’s early schedule (Youngstown State, Presbyterian, Wofford, Quinnipiac, LeMoyne, etc.) was extremely weak. UGA is not doing very well since they started playing good Division 1 teams. And, you shouldn’t consider yourself a good team when you lose eight in a row.

Mark Twain

May 11th, 2009
2:28 pm

When ill luck begins, it does not come in sprinkles, but in showers.

Reality Check

May 11th, 2009
2:35 pm

Gator Man and LSU – You both have great points and great teams don’t get in a slump for eight games but you keep pointing out the week schedule which to me holds little weight. Lately UGA has lost to some very week teams such as Jacksonville state twice. They are in a huge slump that needs to be taken care of by the leaders on this team. I am a season ticket holder and have seem probably 25 five games this year which included the 3 against LSU and the 3 against Florida. LSU completely handed one game to us but UGA could have easily won 2 out of three but the ball didnt bounce our way and UGA could have very easily won 2 out or 3 against Florida and gave up an 8 run lead and a 7 to 3 lead to lose to the Gators. Talent is not an issue with this team and if they happen to find that “it” that this team had last year they can go just as far. Don’t count them out for the world series and Gator Man you had everything fall your way two weekends ago or Florida could have very easily had been the team that got swept.

Diamond Dawg

May 11th, 2009
2:43 pm

I agree with Reality Check. I see this lsu fan and gator baitor on here crowing when they should be saying their prayers. The Dawgs should have one all three against the lizards but luck would not have it! As far as schedules go…has nothing to do with it. Lsu was on TV the other day playing Lousiana Monroe or the like and they had their hands full. When the Dawgs regain their confidence I hope we get FLA and LSU back to back and send them packing.

LSU

May 11th, 2009
2:53 pm

ULM is better than getting our jocks handed to us by Jacksonville State twice and Flordia Gulf Coast….

Diamond Dawg the proper pharse is WON not ONE!! I see you weren’t ONE of the lucky ones to actually graduate from uga.

athensdawg

May 11th, 2009
3:58 pm

i’m too friggin stupid to put something intelligent on my own school’s blog, so….let me go post something on that uga blog that will make everyone mad!

That will teach them UGA people how stupid they are! There…that post should teach them a lesson. Now…time to get back to my playstation….

Saint Simons

May 11th, 2009
4:03 pm

45-42!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahhaahhahahahah

Cuz

May 11th, 2009
5:02 pm

976-957!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahha

gman

May 11th, 2009
5:16 pm

I like that thinking, UGA could easily have won this series, UGA could easily have won that series. You call that losing – get over it. You got beat and you are still taking beatings. How good could that talent be if they keep losing, duh, let me think

Just like football........

May 11th, 2009
5:25 pm

Gators swept UGA in baseball !

Reality Check

May 11th, 2009
5:46 pm

Hey gator fans, do you only comment when you have one good season in baseball in the last 20 years? Is that how that works? I didn’t hear your mindless thoughts last year. You are correct, UGA lost to Florida hands down. I am not making excuses for the loss. My point was simply that talent is not the problem and this team can win some games if it gets the kinks worked out. Florida has a great coach who has and will turn things around there. If you want to put your thoughts in on UGA baseball please do but to just come on here bashing UGA baseball is a little immature. GMAN and Just like football, have you even seen a gator baseball game this year or are you just taking credit because you read that you are actually having a good season?

AltamahaDawg

May 11th, 2009
5:47 pm

Correcting typos is the real pharse.

Reality Check

May 11th, 2009
5:52 pm

LSU – I have no problem with you but if you want to talk down UGA at least get your facts straight. UGA did not play Florida Gulf Coast this year.

LSU is playing really well right now and if you can keep it up you will hopefully bring it home for us if UGA can’t get it together. Your Friday night starter is a stud!

Jimmy

May 11th, 2009
8:23 pm

That’s priceless, Cuz(for those of you who don’t get it, the APR comparisons). When are you touring and when will you be in Gainesville(Ga.)??

dawgJones

May 11th, 2009
8:27 pm

This team strikes out too much, pitches poorly and might be the worst base running team ever! Perno’s team usually play solid D, but errors, wild pitches and walks have killed this team. I guess the Easton’s helped the home run total, but it looks like every guy up tries to hit it out which leads to too many men left on base thanks to the big strikeout number. This team looks poorly coached at times as is evident by blowing leads and tanking it againstJax State twice, including giving up a 9 spot in the 9th at home! Too bad all us fans in the ballpark this season have witnessed a meltdown…in the dugout and on the field. All that off my chest…please beat Tech!

dan

May 11th, 2009
8:59 pm

man this has been kind of a crappy school year for uga sports let’s compare shall we

2007-2008 school year: UGA football: 11-2 and finished 3# nationally, UGA basketball: SEC Champs, UGA Baseball: lost in the College World Series

2008-2009 school year: UGA football: 10-3, not bad but well below expectations, UGA basketball: last in the SEC and Felton canned, UGA Baseball: under performing

What a difference a year makes.

superDawg

May 11th, 2009
9:04 pm

EVERYBODY HUNKERDOWN WITH GOOD THOUGHTS GO DAWGS! GOOD NIGHT.

Fools Gold

May 11th, 2009
9:33 pm

Need I say more?. The unraveling continues! Stay tuned to the Druga Thuga Uga channel for complete updates! Hey Mr Perno are you now embracing thats fools gold baseball program?

AltamahaDawg

May 11th, 2009
10:42 pm

That’s Flordia Gulf Coast, get your pharses straight, RC.

LSU

May 12th, 2009
8:48 am

The Flordia Gulf Coast was a shot at the UF fans.

[...] Also:– Talking Baseball with Coach Perno – AJC– Tale of the Tape – AJC– More at Stake than Bragging Rights – ABH– A look [...]

AltamahaDawg

May 12th, 2009
9:28 am

Well you can’t go wrong with that.

Trey

May 12th, 2009
9:52 am

Tony Cole played 7-8 games for UGA and hasn’t been in Athens in 6 years and he’s still a front page story in Georgia. Tells you a lot about why newspapers are going out of bisiness.

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 12th, 2009
10:59 am

Will you fleabags even compete this time?

I think the chant “Just like football” will get started about the sixth inning.

That’s the over/under, 6th inning…any takers?

Tom

May 12th, 2009
11:00 am

Cuz, you do understand that in touting those APR’s you’re bascially confirming what everyone else already knows……that UGA majors like “Consumer Ec” and “Housing” are basically slightly-easier than high school.

How else could a football team have the top APR in the SEC with Wonderlic scores of 12 and 13 on there?

Rumor has it the equestrian team scored even higher……until they found out only the riders’ results were to be included.

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 12th, 2009
11:16 am

Good one Tom, the last UGA football player that ever took Calculus was John Dewberry.

Bama Dawg

May 12th, 2009
11:18 am

Great comment Trey. The AJC is really getting desparate for headlines to draw people’s attention, so they look for anything anyone ever remotely associated with UGA does wrong.

Hey idiot Tom – if memory serves me correctly, Stafford scored in the high 30s on the Wonderlic. Maybe your posting your score when you took the sample test.

SOUTHSIDE DAWG

May 12th, 2009
12:00 pm

HEY RAMBLE ON
HOW MANY TIMES HAS YOUR TECH TEAM WON AT TURNER FIELD?
AND WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME TECH WON THE WORLD SERIES OR MADE IT PAST A ROUND WITHOUT UGA KNOCKING THEM OUT?

Tom

May 12th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hey, Bama……yes, your QB scored only slightly lower than our defensive tackle…..congrats! The point, however, is that our players…on average were considerably higher on the Wonderlic.

Darryl Richard 37
Matthew Stafford 35
Andrew Gardner 32
Mohamed Massaquoi 30
Michael Johnson 27
Brannan Southerland 26
Vance Walker 25
Asher Allen 25
Jahi Word-Daniels 23
Dannell Ellerbe 22
Corvey Irvin 15
Knowshon Moreno 13
Jarius Wynn 12 (Percy Harvin has an excuse for his 12, apparently)

Maybe YOU’RE (which means “you are”) not putting enough thought into your replies?

DawginLex

May 12th, 2009
1:46 pm

Just like football where UGA has won 15 out of the last 18. Sounds about right

Reality Check

May 12th, 2009
2:04 pm

Hey dawg fans, I quit responding to the tech nerds awhile ago when all they could say was 45 to 42. Every squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

RAMBLE ON!!!

May 12th, 2009
4:31 pm

Quincy

May 12th, 2009
4:47 pm

I loves me some crack and drunk driving!

BUZZ

May 12th, 2009
6:14 pm

Not only is Georgia Tech smarter in the class room (all of our players must take Calculus to graduate), they are better ON the filed as well (granted we did lose to Georgia in gymnastics and equestrian).

But in case you missed it, Ga. Tech has beaten UGA in football (45-42), basketball AND baseball this school year.

I LOVE IT!

BUZZ

May 12th, 2009
6:19 pm

And I’ll bet Sugar Hill Dawg a case of PBR and Red man that we win again tonight. I love it. I mean I really love it. I love everything about shutting Georgia down and Georgia fans UP!

DawginLex

May 12th, 2009
10:47 pm

Should have taken you up on the bet Rambler. Yep, just like football. 15 out of 18 and another end of the year beatdown in baseball. Where will the regional beatdown be this year?

southside DAWG

May 12th, 2009
10:49 pm

Hey Buzz and Ramble on!!!!
Class is over and you F I am sorry an L for another lost to UGA at Turner field UGA’s home away from home!

AltamahaDawg

May 12th, 2009
10:55 pm

Well first of all, calculus is a high school class now, but that sounded impressive to you I guess.

Secondly, I doubt that you been in the same room with a case of beer in your life. I am glad that SHD won his PBR though. He would have been real embarrased to have had to buy that wine cooler for you.

anotherdawg

May 13th, 2009
12:52 am

7-5 hahahahaha! 196-149-2 overall hahahahaha! 6-1 at Turner field hahahahahaha! 7-1 last seven years in football hahahahaha!