Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

UPDATED: UGA pitcher and former Little League World Series star, arrested on weapons charge

Adds comments from Kyle Carter (12:28 p.m.) . . .

ATHENS — Georgia baseball player Kyle Carter, a freshman pitcher from Columbus and a former Little League World Series star, was arrested earlier this week and charged with simple assault and having a weapon in a school zone.

Carter was arrested by the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning, booked in the Athens-Clarke County jail at 9:58 a.m. that day and released on $5,000 bond an hour and 21 minutes later. The weapons charge is a felony.

Kyle Carter's booking photo from this past Tuesday morning. (Athens-Clarke County Jail)

Kyle Carter's booking photo from this past Tuesday morning. (Athens-Clarke County Jail)

According to police, Carter’s arrest stemmed from an incident that took place at 2:45 on a.m. on Aug. 19 in the East Commons Village residence hall. UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said Friday that Carter threatened with a baseball bat a female unknown to him in his dorm room. The woman had been invited into the room by Carter’s roommate, he said.

“For whatever reason he wanted her to …

Continue reading UPDATED: UGA pitcher and former Little League World Series star, arrested on weapons charge »

Levi Hyams drafted by Braves, Kyle Farmer says no to Yankees (updated)

ATHENS – Georgia senior second baseman Levi Hyams was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball draft on Wednesday. He’s the second Bulldog picked in this year’s draft by the Braves — sophomore left-hander Alex Wood was chosen by them in the second round on Tuesday — and the eighth overall, including five signees.

Hyams

Hyams

“I feel very fortunate to be drafted, and I was very excited when I got the news,” said Hyams, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Oceanside, Calif. “The past four years have been the greatest of my life and I have no regrets. I know my stats were not as good this season, but when I came back for my senior year, it was because I wanted another year with the boys and Coach [David] Perno and to be at UGA. I felt like all those were positives, and I really appreciate everything Georgia and the program did for me, and the friendships I’ve made.”

Junior shortstop Kyle Farmer also was drafted Wednesday, going to the New Yankees …

Continue reading Levi Hyams drafted by Braves, Kyle Farmer says no to Yankees (updated) »

UGA’s Alex Wood thrilled to be drafted by Atlanta Braves (updated)

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM WOOD . . .

ATHENS – I talked to Georgia pitcher Alex Wood this evening. The Bulldogs’ crafty left-hander was drafted in the second round by our own Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

Georgia left-hander Alex Wood recorded the lowest ERA by a starter (2.73) since 1989 as a sophomore this past season. (UGA photo)

Georgia left-hander Alex Wood recorded the lowest ERA by a starter (2.73) since 1989 as a sophomore this past season. (UGA photo)

First, here’s some quick thoughts from Wood, who was at home with friends and family when the Braves selected him with the 85th pick overall.

General thoughts . . .

“I’m extremely excited. I think it worked out great. I couldn’t be in a better place, so I’m definitely excited to get started.”

On whether he was a Braves fan growing up . . .

“My main team was actually the Mets, which is kind of funny now. I watched the Braves a lot growing up, but my dad is actually from Long Island, so that’s my roots to the Mets. But I’ve been a bigger Braves fan since I got into school. All my friends are braves fans so it’s hard not to be one once you get to …

Continue reading UGA’s Alex Wood thrilled to be drafted by Atlanta Braves (updated) »

Performance bonuses will be doubled in (still unfinished) Richt contract

GREENSBORO, Ga. — We’ll have a full story later, but here are the quick highlights from this morning’s UGA Athletic Association board of directors meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation:

  • UGA President Michael Adams and athletic director Greg McGarity said the contract extensions still are not completed with head football coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.  McGarity did say for the first time that Richt’s new contract will keep his salary “basically the same” — about $2.8 million per year — as his current deal but that the incentive bonuses, for things such as winning SEC and national championships, will be doubled as a way of “rewarding excellence.”  As previously disclosed, three years will be added to Richt’s contract, extending it through 2016, and two years to Grantham’s, extending it through 2014.   McGarity said again that there are no major unresolved issues with the contracts. Adams attributed the delays to routine legal …

Continue reading Performance bonuses will be doubled in (still unfinished) Richt contract »

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 …

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

Opportunistic Gamecocks best Bulldogs in pitcher’s duel, 3-0

ATHENS – Alex Wood didn’t make many mistakes. But when he did, South Carolina made him pay.

Georgia’s crafty left-hander had allowed only five base runners and one solid base hit all night when Gamecocks third baseman L.B. Dantzler turned on an inside pitch and launched it off the top of the scoreboard in right field for a home run and 1-0 lead in the seventh.

South Carolina scratched across another run in the eighth on a two-out single by Evan Marzilli — the inning ended with Marzilli getting thrown out at second base — and scored again on a two-out, two-strike squeeze bunt in the ninth. It was was a stunning display of opportunism at its finest.

On the flipside, Georgia left nine runners on base, stranded the bases loaded in the sixth and left empty-handed after getting back-to-back singles to start the ninth. It was the epitome of wastefulness.

Therein was the difference. Two-time defending national champion South Carolina 3, Georgia 0.

“We never answered all day,” Georgia …

Continue reading Opportunistic Gamecocks best Bulldogs in pitcher’s duel, 3-0 »

UGA pitcher Alex Wood relishes matchup against defending champion Gamecocks

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Alex Wood has been like a block of granite at the front of the Bulldogs' rotation. (AP photo)

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Alex Wood has been like a block of granite at the front of the Bulldogs' rotation. (AP photo)

ATHENS — For no other reason than the opportunity to see Alex Wood pitch in what will likely be his final home start as a Georgia Bulldog, Friday night would be a great time to come to Foley Field. But then throw in the added element of opponent and stakes, and it’s understandable why tonight’s game against South Carolina is already sellout.

Wood, a redshirt sophomore left-hander from Charlotte, is arguably the SEC’s best pitcher. Tonight, the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week is on the hill against the No. 4-ranked and two-time defending national champion Gamecocks (37-12, 16-8 SEC). The Bulldogs (28-21, 12-12) not only need to win this game but at least one more to enhance their position to qualify for the SEC tournament and ultimately for an NCAA tournament at-large bid. After this weekend’s three-game series, a Teusday game against East Tennessee State …

Continue reading UGA pitcher Alex Wood relishes matchup against defending champion Gamecocks »

Diamond Dogs must shake off Tech loss, get busy in SEC

Georgia's Friday starter Alex Wood (6-1, 2.64) is a big reason the Bulldogs believe they can get this weekend's series against No. 4 South Carolina off to a good start. (UGA photo)

Georgia's Friday starter Alex Wood (6-1, 2.64) is a big reason the Bulldogs believe they can get this weekend's series against No. 4 South Carolina off to a good start. (UGA photo)

ATHENS — Tough loss for Georgia last night to Georgia Tech. On a designated “staff night,” in which the Bulldogs planned on getting innings for several midweek pitchers, they simply could not come up with enough quality innings and fell 8-6. Seven pitchers gave up seven walks and Georgia’s late rally came up short. Here’s a link to Ken Sugiura’s GAME REPORT.

“We pitched poorly tonight, and I take the blame for that as we just can’t do that this late in the year,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We wanted to keep guys fresh for the upcoming South Carolina series, but we needed to do better tonight.”

In case you’re keeping count — and you can bet these two teams are — that’s the third consecutive season the Yellow Jackets have gotten the edge in the three-game series. Georgia leads the overall …

Continue reading Diamond Dogs must shake off Tech loss, get busy in SEC »

More miscues from Diamond Dogs lead to 10-5 loss to Clemson

ATHENS — First there was left-fielder Hunter Cole’s throwing error that led to a run in the first inning. Then there was third baseman Curt Powell air-mailing a throw to first in the fourth inning. Shortly thereafter Cole let a ground ball get under his glove and roll all the way to the wall.

After the weekend Georgia just had up at Vanderbilt, this was the last thing that coach David Perno wanted — or expected — to see.

Instead it was more of the same. The Bulldogs committed three errors and threw in six walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball on the way to losing to Clemson 10-5 Tuesday night at Foley Field.

It was the third loss in a row for Georgia (17-9, 3-3 SEC), which plays host to No. 10 Kentucky (25-1, 5-1 SEC) for a three-game set this weekend. Clemson improves to 12-11.

“That kind of stuff we did this [past] weekend has a hangover effect,” Perno said. “It really does. We’re down, the guys are tired, [Clemson] played great and we didn’t play well. It’s that simple. If …

Continue reading More miscues from Diamond Dogs lead to 10-5 loss to Clemson »

Georgia draws first blood in Tech series, beats Jackets 7-1

ATHENS — They play a lot of games in baseball, hence all the cliches about “it’s just another game” and “we just want to win the next one.”

But the Georgia Bulldogs kept their mundane catch phrases in their bat bags Tuesday night at Foley Field. After defeating rival Georgia Tech 7-1 — their first victory in the last four games in the series on their home turf — they didn’t mind letting loose with a little exhortation.

“It’s by far the best experience I’ve ever had on the mound,” said freshman pitcher David Sosebee, who started and pitched three scoreless innings to get the win. “I didn’t really understand the rivalry. It’s hard to understand when you’re up in the stands. But being down here in the dugout and being out there on the field is a totally different story. It’s such an adrenalin rush.”

Said center fielder Connor Welton, a sophomore out of Atlanta’s Wesleyan School: “I played with about 10 of their guys growing up. A couple of them went to my high school. We know all …

Continue reading Georgia draws first blood in Tech series, beats Jackets 7-1 »

Texas Rangers say paralyzed UGA OF ‘deserved to be drafted’

Georgia players gather around injured center fielder Jonathan Taylor before Saturday's first game against Florida in the SEC Tournament. (AP photo)

Georgia players gather around injured center fielder Jonathan Taylor at the SEC Tournament. (AP photo)

Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor, who was paralyzed after colliding with a teammate in March, was drafted by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft.

“The kid, he’s obviously going through a tough time, and this was a way to let him know that people are thinking about him,” Ryan Coe, the Texas Rangers scout for Georgia, told the AJC.

“And you know what? The kid deserved to be drafted. He was a good player for all those years. He’s somebody we had interest in had he been healthy.

“He deserved the recognition to be drafted … that’s all I can say.”

The selection of Taylor was one of the feel-good stories of the three-day draft. In the first round, the Rangers used the No. 37 overall pick to take Georgia’s Zach Cone, who was involved in the devastating outfield collision with Taylor in a March 6 game against Florida State.

Cone and Taylor remain best …

Continue reading Texas Rangers say paralyzed UGA OF ‘deserved to be drafted’ »

Diamond Dogs get 3 seed, open NCAA Tournament in Oregon

David Perno has led Georgia to six of its 10 NCAA Tournament bids, including the one the Bulldogs received Monday. They'll play in Corvallis, Ore.

David Perno has led Georgia to six of its 10 NCAA Tournament bids, including the one the Bulldogs received Monday. They'll play in Corvallis, Ore.

Athens — The Georgia Bulldogs received an NCAA tournament bid as expected on Monday. That they’ll have to travel all the way across the country to play is but a minor hindrance.

After playing the nation’s most difficult schedule, the resilient Bulldogs (31-30) were rewarded with a three seed in the Corvallis, Ore., Regional during the Road to Omaha Selection Show on Monday. Georgia will open against No. 2 seed Creighton (44-14). Two-time national champion Oregon State (38-17) is the top seed and Arkansas-Little Rock (24-32) is No. 4.

The Bulldogs won three games — including two against Top 5 teams Florida and South Carolina — at the SEC Tournament in order to meet the selection committee’s criteria of finishing with an over-.500 record. There was some speculation that, with 16 wins over Top 25 teams and a No. 16 RPI, Georgia may …

Continue reading Diamond Dogs get 3 seed, open NCAA Tournament in Oregon »

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 …

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

Palazzone leads Diamond Dogs to 5-4 win over No. 3 Vanderbilt

Athens – In the biggest game of the year, Michael Palazzone came up with his biggest game.

After getting knocked around for three runs in the second inning and another in the third, Georgia’s talented right-hander settled down and pitched nearly flawlessly the rest of the way as the Bulldogs came from behind to defeat No. 3 Vanderbilt 5-4 at Foley Field.

Palazzone threw 62 pitches in the first three innings but just 54 over the final six frames. Only six of those were balls as be retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced.

“That was as good as I’ve seen him all year,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “To rebound and do what he did against a team like Vanderbilt was unbelievable.”

The Bulldogs were counting on him. Normally Georgia’s second-game starter in SEC series, Perno elected to move up Palazzone to the first day in order to break their streak of poor SEC starts – they’d lost the first game in the last five conference series – and set the pitching for the rest of the …

Continue reading Palazzone leads Diamond Dogs to 5-4 win over No. 3 Vanderbilt »

Mailbag: Big John Jenkins, Diamond Dogs, O-line and what about ‘Boo?’

mailbag(1)THE MAILBAG:

CBB1 asks: I read your story about the Georgia baseball team and its chances of making the NCAA tournament. My question is, has an at-large team has ever gotten in with a losing record?

Chip: I turned to my old friend Jim Callis of Baseball America for this (Jim and I went to college together and worked alongside each other at the school newspaper). As luck would have it Jim had recently answered a question on this specific subject for the “Ask BA” feature he does for his publication. Interestingly, the question came to him from Stephen Hartzell of 960 The Ref’s “Morning Show” fame, so clearly it’s on a lot of folks’ minds.

Anyway, Callis said the NCAA informed him that an over-.500 record is a requirement for making the NCAA tournament field of 64. Since the field expanded from 48 to 64 teams in 1999, only two teams have made the NCAA playoffs with a record of just one game over .500: UCLA (30-29) in 1999 and Houston (29-28) in 2001. Both teams received No. 3 …

Continue reading Mailbag: Big John Jenkins, Diamond Dogs, O-line and what about ‘Boo?’ »

Ten@10: Lindsay Scott weighs in on ‘Valdosta boys,’ A.J. Green, NFL lockout

THE TEN AT 10:

1. OK, you asked for it, so now you’ve got it. The “Ten@10″ has been resurrected here on The UGA Blog. I haven’t decided yet whether it will be a regular feature or, if so, when or how often it might run. But there’s a lot of stuff going on at Georgia right now, so it seemed a good time to blow off the dust and break it back out here. Let’s see how it goes. . . .

Lindsay Scott (24) knows a little something about catching and running. (Special photo from UGA)

Lindsay Scott

2. I got to spend a little time with Georgia football legend Lindsay Scott over at the UGA Golf Course on Monday.  The star receiver from the Bulldogs’ 1980 national championship team was looking fit and in great spirits before teeing off in the “Celebrity Am” for the Stadion Classic tournament.

Scott has lived and worked in Valdosta pretty much ever since retiring from pro football. So, like anybody else living in “Winnersville,” he has kept up with high school football. So I asked him what he thought about the two players Georgia signed from down there, Malcolm Mitchell and Jay …

Continue reading Ten@10: Lindsay Scott weighs in on ‘Valdosta boys,’ A.J. Green, NFL lockout »

Diamond Dogs snap skid versus Tech with JT in the house at The Ted

Good afternoon. Been very busy with non-reporting stuff the past couple of days, so I apologize for the dearth of blogs. But I have a lot coming to you over the next 72 hours — and from now on — so be sure to check back often.

To get us started I’m just going to share some left-over quotes from Georgia baseball coach David Perno from last night’s rousing win over Georgia Tech. By now I’m sure everybody has heard and/or seen that critically-injured outfielder Johnathan Taylor was in the dugout with the Dogs last night and gave his teammates an emotional lift en route to a 6-4 victory. The junior from Acworth, making his first public, was joined by fellow wheelchair-bound, former Bulldog Chance Veazey. So the charge that put into their teammates was palpable.

Meanwhile, shortstop Kyle Farmer continued his torrid play at the plate. The sophomore from Atlanta was 2-for-5 last night with three RBI and has hit safely in 18 of the past 19 games to get his average up to .302. HERE’S A …

Continue reading Diamond Dogs snap skid versus Tech with JT in the house at The Ted »

Rewind: Gritty Bulldogs hanging tough, take 2 of 3 from Tennessee

MONDAY MORNING REWIND

The “Monday Morning Rewind” will be coming to you for the rest of spring semester. It’s designed to give you a recap of what happened with UGA athletics over the weekend and a look ahead at the coming week. Hope you find it useful.

Gritty.

That’s the best one-word description I can come up with for Georgia’s baseball team, which took two of three games from Tennessee up on Rocky Top this past weekend. The Bulldogs clinched the series with a 5-3 win on Sunday, thanks to a four-RBI afternoon from shortstop Kyle Farmer. They came close to pulling off the sweep but lost 5-4 Friday night in 10 innings.

Farmer

Farmer

The weekend was typical for the Bulldogs (21-20, 11-7 SEC) in that they played tight, hard-fought games that could have gone either way. In six SEC series so far the average margin per contest, win or lose, is 2.94 runs. They’ve won four of those series.

“We did it the hard way here, losing an extra-inning game on Friday and then coming back to win the …

Continue reading Rewind: Gritty Bulldogs hanging tough, take 2 of 3 from Tennessee »

Georgia baseball player Johnathan Taylor remains paralyzed, hopes to walk again (UPDATED)

Updated 2:55 p.m. . . .

The odds of Johnathan Taylor walking again are not great. But there remains hope and, if anybody can do it, Georgia’s dynamic center fielder can.

That was the word from doctors at the Shepherd Center on Thursday morning. A news conference was held there to provide a medical update on Taylor, a UGA junior from Acworth whose neck was broken in an outfield collision with a teammate during a game against Florida State on March 6.

Georgia baseball coach David Perno is accompanied by Dr. Kimberly Walpert of St. Mary's Hospital and Dr. Donald Peck Leslie of the Shepherd Center while providing a medical update on UGA junior outfielder Johnathan Taylor. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

Georgia baseball coach David Perno is accompanied by Dr. Kimberly Walpert of St. Mary's Hospital and Dr. Donald Peck Leslie of the Shepherd Center while providing a medical update on UGA junior outfielder Johnathan Taylor. (AJC photo by Chip Towers)

After an initial surgery by Dr. Kimberly Walpert at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens to repair fractures of the C5 and C6 vertebrae in Taylor’s spine, he was transported to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center and remains a patient there.

“That’s a question we get on almost a daily basis, will he …

Continue reading Georgia baseball player Johnathan Taylor remains paralyzed, hopes to walk again (UPDATED) »

What you might have missed over the weekend, starting with an SEC title…

Our Monday morning review of what you might have missed over the weekend in Bulldog Nation:

  • Men’s tennis: The Bulldogs clinched at least a share of their 26th regular-season SEC championship –- and fourth in six years — by beating South Carolina 7-0 in Athens on Sunday. No. 7-ranked Georgia (19-3, 10-0 SEC) plays for the outright SEC championship against No. 4 Tennessee (19-3, 9-1 SEC) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Said coach Manuel Diaz after the victory over the Gamecocks:

“Winning the SEC regular season title was the first goal on our list of things we wanted to achieve this year. We’ve assured ourselves of that first goal, and it’s always a very tough thing to do. You have to play a lot of great teams on the road, but our guys have gotten tougher in the difficult moments that define a competition. They’ve won a lot of close matches and deserve to be SEC champions.”

Palazzone

Palazzone

  • Baseball: Georgia won its third consecutive SEC series by taking two …

Continue reading What you might have missed over the weekend, starting with an SEC title… »

What you might have missed over the weekend…

A quick recap of a busy (and good) weekend in Bulldog Nation:

Craig Gullickson

Craig Gullickson

  • Baseball: Georgia swept a three-game series from No. 24 Mississippi State at Foley Field, winning 4-1 on Friday, 4-3 on Saturday and 4-1 on Sunday. The Dogs (14-14, 6-3 SEC) are on a five-game SEC winning streak. They got strong starting pitching all weekend. Friday: Alex Wood allowed one run on three hits and struck out eight in seven innings. Saturday: Michael Palazzone went 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. Sunday: Craig Gullickson permitted one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. (Gullickson is the son of former major-league pitcher Bill Gullickson and the brother of UGA tennis player Chelsey Gullickson, the defending NCAA women’s singles champion.)
  • Gymnastics: The Gym Dogs are headed back to the NCAA Championships after a one-year absence. They finished second (behind UCLA) in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday to earn a spot in the 12-team …

Continue reading What you might have missed over the weekend… »

680 The Fan becomes ‘official sports talk station’ of Bulldogs

ATHENS – Atlanta’s 680 The Fan signed a multi-year contract with the UGA Athletic Association’s multi-media rights holder, IMG,  to become “the official sports talk radio station” of the Bulldogs.

As part of the deal, 680 The Fan will broadcast Georgia coach Mark Richt’s weekly news conferences during the football season, UGA associate athletic director for external operations Alan Thomas said. He added that a three-times-per-week “Bulldog roundtable type show” also is being developed.

In addition, 680 The Fan’s sister station, 1230AM The Fan 2, based in Marietta, will broadcast UGA baseball games, beginning in May.

The deal does not include broadcasts of Georgia football or basketball games, Thomas said. “It gives us an additional opportunity beyond play-by-play programming,” he said.

680 The Fan president David Dickey said in a statement: “We look forward to working with UGA and IMG to bring in-depth and expanded coverage of UGA athletic programs and related content.”

– Tim …

Continue reading 680 The Fan becomes ‘official sports talk station’ of Bulldogs »

UGA resumes spring football practice — for real this time

Spring break is over at UGA. Classes resumed Monday. Football practice resumes Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, you might recall, opened spring football practice on March 10, holding one of their NCAA-allotted 15 practices before dispersing for the university’s spring break.  Twelve days later, practice No. 2 is scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon, and spring ball begins in earnest now. The team will practice three or four times per week through the G-Day game on April 16.

Things will be hopping around the Butts-Mehre building Tuesday.  The activity starts at mid-morning with Georgia’s “Pro Day” — 14 players from last season’s team working out for NFL scouts in the weight room and on the practice field. And about the time the current Bulldogs are wrapping up football practice this evening, the Georgia and Georgia Tech baseball teams will be playing across the street at Foley Field.

Speaking of the baseball game: It starts at 7:06 p.m. and will be televised on CSS; it will be Georgia’s …

Continue reading UGA resumes spring football practice — for real this time »

What you might have missed over the weekend…

It was a busy weekend in Bulldog Nation. So let’s start the week with a recap:

Wendy Trott

Wendy Trott

  • The UGA women’s swimming and diving team finished second in the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. The Lady Bulldogs’ 394.5 points trailed only California’s 424. Georgia’s Wendy Trott won the 1,650 freestyle for the third consecutive season, and the 400 freestyle relay team of Morgan Scroggy, Megan Romano, Melanie Margalis and Allison Schmitt placed first with an American-record time.
  • The women’s basketball team, in the NCAA tournament for the 17th consecutive year, defeated Middle Tennessee State 56-41 in an opening-round game Sunday night at Auburn. Jasmine James scored 18 points, and Porsha Phillips had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Lady Bulldogs advance to a round-of-32 matchup against Florida State on Tuesday night.
  • The gymnastics team finished third at the SEC Championships, behind winner Alabama and runnerup Florida. Georgia senior Cassidy McComb won the SEC all-around …

Continue reading What you might have missed over the weekend… »

From the notebook: a move up in the East … and a coach’s first loss to Tech

A few notes to start the week:

  • The SEC East men’s basketball standings are worth a glance today. Among the teams behind Georgia in the division: Kentucky and Tennessee.

Florida 9-2

Georgia 6-4

Vanderbilt 6-4

Kentucky 5-5

Tennessee 5-5

South Carolina 4-6

Each has been a struggle, but Georgia has won three consecutive SEC games — at Arkansas on a last-second free throw, at home over Auburn in overtime and at South Carolina in that inexplicable game Saturday in which Georgia allowed nine points in the first half and 47 in the second half and saw a 23-point lead dwindle to two in the course of 10 minutes before winning by four.

The Bulldogs, though, are 0-3 against the next three teams on their schedule –- Vanderbilt in Athens on Wednesday night, then Tennessee on the road Saturday and Florida on the road Feb. 24.

The Vanderbilt game will be a battle for sole possession of second place in the East. The Commodores are coming off a home victory over Kentucky and are No. 15 in the …

Continue reading From the notebook: a move up in the East … and a coach’s first loss to Tech »

Bulldogs sign son of former major-league star (updated with more signings)

Dante Bichette hit 274 home runs in 14 major-league seasons, making the All-Star team four times. His son, Dante Bichette Jr., will play baseball at Georgia.

A senior at Orangewood Christian School in Orlando, Bichette Jr., an infielder, has signed a national letter of intent with the Bulldogs.

“Dante is one of the headliners of our signing class because he does a lot of things well,” UGA coach David Perno said in a news release. “He has the most power in our class; it’s in his genes. He’s a corner infielder and will be a great fit here. We had a real connection with him and his family.”

Bichette was among six additions to Georgia’s recruiting class announced Monday. The others, all from in-state: outfielder Justin Bryan (Lavonia), outfielder Zach Freeman (Lake Park), outfielder/pitcher Heath Holder (Loganville), pitcher Reggie McClain (Johns Creek) and infielder Tyler Palmer (Odum.)

Update, 2:30 p.m. Tuesday:

On Tuesday, Georgia announced six more signings, including four …

Continue reading Bulldogs sign son of former major-league star (updated with more signings) »

Vandy No. 1, UGA No. 2 in SEC football academics (Plus: APR for all UGA sports, all SEC football teams)

Georgia posted the second best score among SEC football teams in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) statistics released Wednesday by the NCAA.

UGA’s football team had an APR of 973 out of a possible 1,000, topped only by Vanderbilt’s 975 in the SEC. The national average for football teams was 944.

Georgia had the SEC’s highest scores in women’s basketball (1,000), men’s golf (1,000) and gymnastics (996). The baseball team posted Georgia’s lowest APR, 941.

The Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team recorded a score of 944, which ranked fifth among SEC teams. The national average for men’s basketball teams was 940.

All of Georgia’s 20 sports teams posted scores comfortably above the NCAA-mandated threshold of 925. Teams that post APR scores below 925 and have a player leave school ineligible can be assessed penalties, including loss of scholarships.

The APR is an NCAA-designed measure that assesses the eligibility, retention and graduation of athletes over a four-year period. The figures …

Continue reading Vandy No. 1, UGA No. 2 in SEC football academics (Plus: APR for all UGA sports, all SEC football teams) »

Will SEC baseball tourney move to Gwinnett? Plus: Ex-Dog Smith enters Hall of Fame tonight

The SEC baseball tournament opens today in Hoover, Ala., where it has been played annually since 1998. Might the tournament move to, say, Gwinnett County in a couple of years?

It’s possible.

The SEC’s contract with Hoover’s Regions Park expires after next year’s tournament, and the conference plans to put the event up for bid for 2012 and thereafter.

The SEC will send requests-for-proposals this summer to Regions Park and two other minor-league baseball stadiums that have expressed strong interest in hosting the tournament — Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field and Memphis’ AutoZone Park.

Coolray Field is home of the Braves’ Class AAA farm team, and AutoZone Park is home of the St. Louis Cardinals’ AAA affiliate.

The issue of a future site for the SEC tournament might come up during the league’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., next week, but a decision isn’t expected until the fall.

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Gordon Smith –- a former Georgia tennis player, a retired partner at Atlanta-based law …

Continue reading Will SEC baseball tourney move to Gwinnett? Plus: Ex-Dog Smith enters Hall of Fame tonight »

Hutson Mason ‘moving up the depth chart rapidly,’ and other notes

Cleaning out the notebook:

  • With all the turmoil at Georgia’s quarterback position of late, Mark Richt has been fielding a lot of questions on the speaking circuit about incoming freshman Hutson Mason. “I’m sure he’s very excited about what’s going on,” Richt told a group last week. “He’s been moving up the depth chart rapidly because of what happened with Mr. Mettenberger and Logan Gray probably spending most of his time at wide receiver now.”

Asked the followup question of whether he sees Mason playing or redshirting this year, Richt said:  “I don’t know.  I want to see what he can do. If we don’t think he’s ready, I’d be more apt to have Logan continue to be our No. 2 and just go from there. I don’t want to say because I have no idea how he’s going to perform until he shows up.”

  • Another hot topic, of course, is conference expansion. Richt is on record against it for the SEC, mainly because “I think if you get into what would be a super-conference, you’re just not going …

Continue reading Hutson Mason ‘moving up the depth chart rapidly,’ and other notes »

Georgia-Florida contract still in works

More than seven months after the decision was made to keep the Georgia-Florida football game in Jacksonville through 2016, a new contract still isn’t signed.

But it will get done, probably this summer, according to Georgia executive associate athletics director Frank Crumley.

“We’re moving along very nicely,” he said. “We’ve got every hurdle worked out and are coming up with a [contract] draft to distribute to all parties.”

He said the delay was caused by making the three-way contract more comprehensive than in the past and dealing with “some very small issues … in the scheme of things.”

There’s been no big hurry since this year’s Georgia-Florida game is covered by the previous contract. The major components of the new deal -– length (six years) and economics –- are unchanged from what was reported last fall, Crumley said. As previously reported, Jacksonville will pay for the Georgia team to fly directly from Athens, and back.

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This is the time of year that the NCAA …

Continue reading Georgia-Florida contract still in works »