It’s ‘Desperation Dogs’ again as Georgia faces Vandy in SEC tournament

Georgia enters SEC Tournament a desperate team once again. After dropping two of three games to last-place Alabama in the final regular-season series this past weekend, the Bulldogs are assured of nothing beyond this week’s double-elimination tournament in Hoover.

But that’s kind of the way it has been all season for the eighth-seeded Diamond Dogs, who open play late tonight against fifth-seeded Vanderbilt. They faced adversity even before the first pitch of the season. So needing to win a couple of games in the conference tournament is hardly a daunting task.

“We’re on edge a little bit,” said pitcher Alex Wood, who will get the start against the Commodores. “We feel like we need to win two or three to be safe. But we’re used to having our backs against the wall. We’re ready to get started and excited about playing Vanderbilt.”

Because it dropped two of three to Alabama — including an excruciating 6-4 loss in Game 3 — Georgia (31-24, 14-15 SEC) finished a game below .500 in the rugged SEC. Because the league is so strong in baseball this year, the general thought was .500 or a game above would assure an NCAA postseason bid. The Bulldogs lost one opportunity with a Sunday rain-out against South Carolina the next-to-last weekend.

As it is, the Bulldogs enter the postseason with a shaky RPI of 50. So there is some work to be done.

“Yeah, [the SEC tournament] is always important, but obviously it’s very important that we play well this week,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “We’re excited about Alex being on the mound and Michael [Palazzone] hasn’t been a whole lot different the second half of the season.”

Wood has emerged as one of the SEC’s top pitchers. The redshirt sophomore left-hander from Charlotte is 7-2 with a 2.58 earned-run average.

Wood is eager to get another crack at the Commodores (29-25, 16-14). He was on the mound with a 1-0 lead when weather caused an hour-delay and he was unable to return. The Bulldogs held on for a 1-0 win but let late leads slip away in the next two games and lost the series.

Georgia comes into tonight’s game 1-6 against Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament, including a 10-0 loss to start off last year’s event. The Bulldogs eventually reached the semifinals and returned to the NCAA tournament.

“We definitely feel like we owe them one,” Wood said. “They’ve been playing good here at the end of the year. But right now everybody’s 0-0 and we’re ready to go out and string a couple of wins together.”

In a similar scenario last year, the Bulldogs went 3-2 in the SEC tournament, which propelled to them to another NCAA regional bid. Georgia made it to the NCAA Corvallis Regional finals before falling to Oregon State.

“We’ve played well of late; we’ve just been a little short in the run category,” Perno said. “We’re throwing strikes and taking care of the baseball.  We feel good with Alex going Tuesday, and he’s been as good as anybody we’ve played. We knew a few weeks ago that this would be an important tournament again for us, just like last year.”

65 comments Add your comment

kingdaddy

May 22nd, 2012
9:29 am

Whats it gonna take for the Doggies to play good baseball again????

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dawg fan

May 22nd, 2012
9:31 am

Go Dawgs!

Wish the AJC would cover the season more than the GT series and SEC tourney.

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UGA Insider

May 22nd, 2012
9:35 am

Good luck against Vandy!

kingdaddy

May 22nd, 2012
9:46 am

I wonder if its not time for a change in our baseball program? Other SEC schools have passed UGA with better recruiting and facilities. I hate to say it, but the fans speak their minds with their attendence and maybe its time for McGarrity to spend a little thought on UGAs failing, stalled baseball program. Improve the facilities, hire a hungry, new Head coach that can recruit the state of Ga. and get the students back to the games to support our Doggies…

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BP-85

May 22nd, 2012
10:10 am

I hope the Dawgs can get hot here at the end and go on a run, but I’ll be shocked if we even make a good showing at the SEC tournament. Much less, a regional. We’ve got too many average players to really get the job done. We’ve got to recruit better.

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NCDAWG

May 22nd, 2012
10:34 am

I have faith in Wood too pitch a good game, I just hope the dawgs hit with RISP

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Dawg

May 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

NCDAWG is right on the money. I live in Athens, and I’ve listened to every game this season, and our biggest problem is not getting the big hit with runners in scoring position. It has been that way all season- runners on second and third w/no outs and can’t get a run across is frustrating beyond belief. Lets go Perno and the Dawgs! Win the tourney!

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evil empire

May 22nd, 2012
10:55 am

LSU and SCe laugh at the uga baseball program…and football program too..and the stupid uga fanbase also…

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evil empire

May 22nd, 2012
11:05 am

50th in rpi…how’s the mcgarrity scheduling system working out so far??…poor scheduling = no respect…something uga fans should already be accustomed to, so, to quote talking heads in the song “once in a lifetime”,…same as it ever was…losers…

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jsmooth

May 22nd, 2012
12:01 pm

Evil Umpire:
Really, sc not the real SC. They have done well in baseball, however, they are the laughing stock of the SEC when it comes to other sports. The football program is finally coming alive, however, they are barely a .500 team when it comes to wins and losses. Do not put them in the same category with UGA or any other SEC program including MSU, UM, even KY. It does not add up, look at the numbers!

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UGASlobberknocker

May 22nd, 2012
12:46 pm

@ kingdaddy

It’s gonna take a new coach. Perno has got to go

evil empire

May 22nd, 2012
1:17 pm

jsmooth…i can go to the library if i want to study history…i only look at the last 5 years in any college athletics situation…those freshmen and redshirt seniors own that historical 5 year period…1980 for football and 1990 for baseball was a long time ago…

Dawgsin11

May 22nd, 2012
1:31 pm

evil, why u so bitter? let it go. you’ll feel better.

Rural Education

May 22nd, 2012
2:00 pm

What? I thought Ga was superior in every athletic field? How can they possibly not be the best team in college baseball? About time for another “how great the Dawgs will be this year article”. where we can read how great Murray (who can’t be a ranked team” is.

DawginLex

May 22nd, 2012
3:02 pm

evil

Remember!!!

“34% of the male inmate population in the state of Louisiana prison system are former LSU athletes”

jobro

May 22nd, 2012
3:38 pm

lets go dawgs get a win

north georgia fan

May 22nd, 2012
3:57 pm

I don’t think recruiting is an issue.

But oversigning and underperforming is an issue.

Father A. Long

May 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

With some games, it doesn’t matter if you win. Perno’s rule.

Fair n Balanced

May 22nd, 2012
4:06 pm

This has not been our best year in sports.

Snoop Dawg

May 22nd, 2012
4:50 pm

Every sport seems to be the Desparation Dawgs these days. What has happened to our programs? Why aren’t we winning championships like we used to?

We have fallen from second most profitable program in the country (behind Texas) to sixth in the SEC…

Hmmmm…..

Snoop Dawg

May 22nd, 2012
4:52 pm

Who among you has any faith in Greg McCavity? Please identify yourself.

Mark Richt

May 22nd, 2012
4:57 pm

Snoop, I have a lot of faith in Greg. Shucks, he just gave me a big contract extension and more spending money… Plus a free missionary trip to Honduras every Summer! It also promotes my little buddy Mike Bobo to Assistant Head Coach in Waiting…

Andy Landers

May 22nd, 2012
5:00 pm

I’ll ditto Mark’s comments. Greg is extending my contract too. He said that winning isn’t as important as how the game is played, so I think that will help me recruit the top talent!

Mark Fox

May 22nd, 2012
5:03 pm

Snoop, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but Greg’s cracking! He told me that he is looking for two steps forward, one step back instead of the opposite. Shoot, that gives me at least 10-12 years to get a winning season put together. All it takes is one monster center from the State of Georgia, you know…

DawgFan

May 22nd, 2012
5:14 pm

OMG, the haters are starting to talk to themselves…going off th deep end with the crap! Dawgs Rule, and all you other stools just lose…..Go Dawgs!

Lakedawg

May 22nd, 2012
5:17 pm

Snoop—Son you need to call Greg and stop by and have a conversation with him. He is a lot more accessible than former Ad.

Write back after that meeting and let us know how you feel then, or are you to little a weenie for a face to face??

Snoop Dawg

May 22nd, 2012
5:42 pm

Ah, these blind believers. I believe in Richt! I believe in McCavity! Amen! Pass the hat…

You know, if you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog is too stupid to jump out and will allow himself to get boiled.

So be it with these blind homers like Lakedawg and Dawinfex…

Chuck

May 22nd, 2012
6:06 pm

Just like every other men’s team at UGA, the Diamond Dawgs lack the passion and intensity to come through in must-win situations. Bama was a joke of a baseball team this year, and with everything on the line Georgia choked. Perno is living on borrowed time from the national runner-up a few years back. That was a great crop of athletes that should have won a title in spite of Perno’s obvious deficiencies. Without Beckam, Poythress, Masanari, and that loaded pitching staff, UGA is a middle of the pack SEC team.

Dawg Bite

May 22nd, 2012
6:37 pm

Perno and Landers are Lifers. Both of their programs are a joke, but no one at the top seems to care. If it wasn’t for tennis and golf, our athletic programs are mediocre at best. What a shame that a Univ. in a state full of quality athletes has most all of its athletic programs floundering. We are now falling behind UK and USC east in the pecking order. What a travesty!!

MS Bully

May 22nd, 2012
7:08 pm

Mississippi State 9 Arkansas 1!!
Go State!! Bring on LSU!!

sports

May 22nd, 2012
7:41 pm

desperate…chippie techie??? what crock reporting

YO

May 22nd, 2012
7:43 pm

The Dogs are just having an off year. Don’t worry…. But on a other note the FLORIDA GATORS Ladies Tennis are National Champs again,………. Back to Back GO GATORS!

TigerinGA

May 22nd, 2012
8:34 pm

UGA is desperate in all sports!! LOL

dbc

May 22nd, 2012
11:08 pm

Watching UGA baseball is like watching the Cubs. Zero bats, but lot’s of beer…

Tip your Hat?

May 23rd, 2012
12:45 am

I have posted this way too many times already, but here goes again!
Perno has got to go and I like him and what he has done for the program, just not a Winner.
BUT – do not forget the it was Ron Polk who put the Diamond Dogs back on the map and Perno lived off his recruits from 2002 – 2006- enough talent to go on to two CWS – the 2008 team was loaded with “Legacy” recruits and Perno has run off More great talent in his tenure, then he has kept. – Read this article – http://www.dawgsports.com/2012/5/1/2990482/georgia-bulldogs-sec-college-baseball-fire-david-perno – Outside of that – he has fallen short every year – “I judge a Head coaches success at UGA, by SEC and NATIONAL Championship” – a quote from Mcgarrity – He fired the GymDogs coach 5 minutes later – Why does Perno earn such favor from him? – Spend the HUGE $$ and get a true Div 1 Head coach at UGA, if not then Mr. McGarrity is true Hypocrite and he will be just like Damon Evans, although for all of you true UGA fans – Vince Dooley hired Perno and introduced him as a “Legacy UGA Dog – the record proves that, I am not bitter, but I am getting frustrated with McGarrity’s lack of action – Enuf Said