Tuesday, May 22
It's a big week for David Perno and the Georgia baseball team.
How costly were two losses at Alabama this past weekend for Georgia's baseball team?
Judging by several RPI projections circulating Monday, Georgia dropped as far as No. 50 in the rankings (down from the 30s the week before) heading into this week's SEC baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala.
As a result, there is significantly more pressure on the Diamond Dogs, who now need to win at least a couple of games to try to shore of what now seems a shaky at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
For No. 8 seed Georgia (31-24), that starts with Tuesday night's late opener against No. 5 Vanderbilt (29-25), whose record does not indicate current form. The Commodores are coming off a three-game sweep of Ole Miss this past week and have won 12 of their last 15 games.
"The kids are confident right now," Vandy coach Tim Corbin said Monday. "We look forward to the challenge against a very good pitcher and a very good team."
Georgia's team stayed in Alabama after the three-game series in Tuscaloosa, choosing just to remain in the area rather than return to Athens and then drive right back.
And UGA coach David Perno's plan all along was to throw his best to start the SEC tournament. Realizing what was at stake this week, Perno will toss ace Alex Wood (7-2, 2.58 ERA) tonight against Vandy's Drew VerHagan (5-2, 3.63 ERA).
"Our approach was to get our ace out there," Perno said. "It didn't really matter who we played. We feel good with Alex going against anybody. He's been as good as anybody in the league. So we've just got to go play a good game. ... Unfortunately, Vanderbilt is playing probably better than anyone right now. But that's part of it. This is a different part of the season. It's tournament time, and you just never know what's going to show up."
Perno said No. 2 starter Michael Palazzone (2-6, 4.89) will be ready to go in game two. Georgia's opponent in that game is anyone's guess, thanks to a complex bracket now in place to accomodate the addition of two teams in the tournament field this season, making 10 overall. (Rather than trying to explain, we'll just let you scan the bracket and see for yourself)
Anyway, the format change this year does potentially give a team a chance to win a few more games, which could really help UGA right now.
Tonight's Georgia game is scheduled as the late one of the day, and it will start no earlier than 8:30 p.m. Eastern and be televised by CSS.
ON THE AGENDA
This is the final week of UGA Day events, with Mark Richt due to speak Tuesday night in Birmingham, Ala., and Thursday night in Tampa, Fla.
Closer to home, the NCAA tennis championships will take place today in Athens, though UGA's teams won't be a place of it. The women's final is set to begin at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at 5 p.m. Individual singles play begins Wednesday.
LINK(S) OF THE DAY
This has already made the rounds, but if you've not yet seen it, here's an awesome story from the Detroit News about former UGA quarterback Matt Stafford bidding on a prize that he donated to a hospital patient and her family.
Good stuff, Matt.
TWEET(S) OF THE DAY
Just passed Georgia tech stadium and almost threw up
LB Mike Gilliard
Earthquake in Italy wasn't near us we're all safe!
Washed my clothes by hand today in Italy. Mom would be proud ha
LB Christian Robinson
Ay, getcha business’ right, and stay the hell up out of mine.
DB Bacarri Rambo
They all finna hate when I make it #realtalk
WR commit Kyrin Priester
I'm daddy daycare over here with my Lil girl and my niece
DB Branden Smith
Had a dream I lost a tooth! Almost cried. I love smiling!
WR Tavarres King
Blue mountain state new favorite show
Former UGA OL Ben Jones
I'm sorry but I'm not buying the kobe hype any more. Every era must come to an end.
WR Justin Scott-Wesley
I'm not going to only hope, Imma make it happen
UGA hoops signee Charles Mann
Congrats to Xavier Avery. Done made it up to the bigs. Class of 08 UGA signee
DB Sanders Commings
I need a woman who knows how to cook cause I can burn down some stuff
DB Corey Moore