Johnathan Taylor expected to attend Georgia-Florida baseball game at SECs

Georgia did it again. The Bulldogs won their second game in a row at the SEC Tournament, this time knocking off top-seeded South Carolina 4-2 in the third round on Friday.

The Bulldogs (30-29), who lost on the tournament’s first day, will face elimination for a third time this afternoon (about 1 p.m. or so) against Florida, which they’ll have to beat twice to reach the championship game.

Georgia has to win today’s game in order to meet the NCAA tournament’s criteria of finish with an over-.500 record. Of course, you knew it would come down to this right? It was only logical in the sadistically difficult season that has been 2011 for the Bulldogs. You knew they’d push it to the absolute brink.

They’ll definitely have motivation on their side. The Gators (43-15) are a Top 5 team and already assured of postseason play. Plus, Georgia is expecting to receive a visit from injured center fielder Johnathan Taylor. Paralyzed and wheelchair-bound since an early-season outfield collision, it will be the second game Taylor has attended. He also attended Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech at Ted Turner Field back in April.

Following is a report on Friday’s game:

Hoover, Ala. — Georgia upset second-ranked South Carolina 4-2 Friday in an SEC Tournament elimination game in front of a Regions Park crowd of 8,068.

Georgia (30-29) now must beat fifth-ranked Florida on Saturday to be eligible for an NCAA at-large bid.  The game will start around 1 p.m. EDT as it will follow the Arkansas-Vanderbilt contest slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. EDT. Should Georgia defeat the Gators, they would play them a second time Saturday night with the winner advancing to the SEC Tournament Championship game on Sunday.

On Friday, Georgia went on top 3-0 in the first getting three hits and taking advantage of two Gamecock miscues. Sophomore shortstop Kyle Farmer delivered an RBI-single and designated hitter Chase Davidson notched a two-run single to highlight frame off right-hander Colby Holmes. South Carolina had a chance to answer right back with three consecutive singles to start the second inning. Centerfielder Evan Marzilli made it 3-1 with an RBI-single to get the Gamecocks on the board. Sophomore left-hander Blake Dieterich battled back to strikeout Robert Berry before issuing a walk to Steven Neff to load the bases. Then, he struck out designated hitter DeSean Anderson and got Peter Mooney to pop out to maintain the Bulldog advantage. Georgia got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Zach Cone smacked an RBI-single to make it 4-1.

In the third, the Gamecocks threatened again, loading the bases with one out. Marzilli collected his second run-scoring single and that brought up Berry. Georgia avoided any further trouble when Dieterich got him to bounce to Farmer as the Bulldogs turned a double play to keep it 4-2. The Gamecocks went to the bullpen to start the bottom of the sixth turning to John Taylor. Holmes went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts, falling to 6-3.

Following a one-out walk in the seventh, Georgia lifted Dieterich in favor of sophomore Bryan Benzor. Dieterich (3-3) provided a career-high 6.1 innings, scattering two runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts in his third start of the year out of 27 appearances. After getting Wingo to hit in to fielder’s choice, Christian Walker singled to move him into scoring position. Benzor battled back to strikeout cleanup hitter Jake Williams. He went 1.2 scoreless innings with one strikeout, and in the ninth, Georgia turned to sophomore closer Tyler Maloof. He pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances, and it was the 20th for the Bulldogs overall, which is a school record.

“We had a quick start, and we’ve been watching a lot of teams do that in this tournament, and we finally did it tonight,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Blake managed to limit South Carolina’s runs, and we’ve been pretty good this season protecting a lead. We knew if he could get us through the middle innings, we had Bryan and Tyler late, and they did an outstanding job too.”

“I struggled a bit with my command early but I got a couple big double plays, and that helped me settle in,” said Dieterich.

On Monday when the Bulldogs visited injured teammate Johnathan Taylor at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta on their way to the tournament, Taylor told the Bulldogs if they made it to Saturday , he would do his best to be there with them.

“Saturday is going to be a big day for us, J.T. (Taylor) is going to be here, it’s going to be an emotional day,” Farmer added.

29 comments Add your comment

BirdDog

May 28th, 2011
9:43 am

Good story. Go DAWGS!

bardawg

May 28th, 2011
9:58 am

Congrats diamond dawgs

FAN

May 28th, 2011
9:59 am

Do it for JT!!!! go dawgs!!!!!!

Top Dawg

May 28th, 2011
10:01 am

Worm

May 28th, 2011
10:06 am

Just win baby!

DawginLex

May 28th, 2011
10:34 am

This team deserves a bid at .500. The rule needs to be changed to allow for RPI rating to come into play along with schedule strength

Brian Winhorse

May 28th, 2011
11:20 am

Nice game story..You da man Chip!

JDawg1785

May 28th, 2011
11:38 am

Win it for JT, Dawgs!!

JAWJeRDAWG

May 28th, 2011
12:40 pm

Good luck Diamond Dawgs on winning twice today. Hope those high emotions bring you through.

This Dawg fan is proud of this team and Coach Perno this year considering their brutal schedule and Johnathan Taylor’s unfortunate injury and the impact it has had on the team.

And I agree DawgInLex, if RPI and strength of schedule were included in the SEC Tournament Championship formula, these Dawgs would already be there.

Go Dawgs and beat those Gators, and continued best wishes to you, JT!

Send'em U hauls

May 28th, 2011
3:18 pm

[...] post by News Sources and software by Elliott Back Comments [...]

Bawbie

May 28th, 2011
4:52 pm

Dawgs beat Gators 4 – 3. FIRE PERNO!

JAWJeRDAWG

May 28th, 2011
5:08 pm

@ Send’em U hauls and Bawbie

With whom do you want Coach Perno replaced? And what exactly do you think he did wrong this year that warrents being fired? Just wondering.

Go Dawgs in tonight’s game!

AltamahaDawg

May 28th, 2011
5:09 pm

JD

May 28th, 2011
5:24 pm

Pooches Win!! Go DAWGS! G8R meat is GOOOOOD. :)

JD

May 28th, 2011
5:27 pm

Chip – how’s the G8R starter that got drilled in the noggin’ in the 2nd by his catcher??? Looked pretty brutal on TV, concussion?? Hope the kids alright, that one left a mark I’m sure…..

Upstate Dawg

May 28th, 2011
5:42 pm

UGA wasted some opportunities but did just enough to get it done today. It was great to see the injured players in the dugout. Very sorry about the Florida pitcher. Hope he’s ok. As for the nightcap, anything from this point on is gravy. GO DAWGS!

johnson co. dawg

May 28th, 2011
6:55 pm

if the dogs can play with motivation and think they can win against teams like scar and fla, we can go to omaha. perno has been there alot b4, and he can get these guys to do it.

yes, im crazy. i think we can go 2 the national championship in football this year. but when i was 15 a journey song came out called don;t stop believeing. and as a die hard dawg fan.. i believe we can do it.

Hit A Single

May 28th, 2011
8:13 pm

Proud of the Dawgs and Coach Perno. Seeing those two young men in those wheelchairs was definitley inspiring. You talk about Character those two have it. Coach Perno deserves alot of credit for the job he has done in leading this group of Dawgs.

Bitter "ROUGE BOOSTER"

May 28th, 2011
9:22 pm

chip what is the prize for getting banned on the recruiting site by “new punk guy”

good luck J. Taylor————tough young warrior

Bawbie

May 28th, 2011
10:44 pm

Dawgs blew it as ususal Fire Perno!

Beast from the East

May 28th, 2011
11:28 pm

Congrats on the win in the first game today. Two big wins in the last couple of days to become NCAA eligible. That’s some grit against 2 of the top 5 yeams in the country.
Wish us luck tomorrow in the title game.
Go Gators!

LOL

May 28th, 2011
11:43 pm

So that afternoon game was one of the funniest games I think I have ever seen. Good god, who does there recruiting down in Gainesville, the Three Stooges. The catcher beaning the pitcher in the back of the head was priceless. And the guy tripping over first base and getting hurt, even better.

Dawgbreath

May 29th, 2011
6:25 am

Amazing job by USC. An injury riddled team. If they get healthy they may get to Omaha anyway.

Bawbie

May 29th, 2011
4:50 pm

Perno paced the dugout like a caged spider monkey in a zoo. Florida coach was calm ,cool and collected and got the win. UGA cany beat the Gators in underwater basket weaving. Pathetic!

JWall

May 30th, 2011
1:05 am

Enter your comments here

JWall

May 30th, 2011
1:10 am

@bawbie
What do you do for a living that your so awesome at? What gives you the right to call a coach who doubled our World Series total in his short tenure pathetic? You worthless piece of sh@*t!

WD

May 30th, 2011
10:31 am

Tressell Ohio State Resigns…..

Bawbie

May 30th, 2011
1:01 pm

Diamond Dawgs will play in Oregon. Can you say 2 and out?