My name is Michael Terry and I’m here with James Carr to give you live blog action of today’s game between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Kennesaw St. Owls. The first pitch is scheduled for 5pm. Cecil Tanner will take the mound for the Bulldogs and Kyle Clayton will take the mound for the Owls. It’s a beautiful day in Athens and there is a small crowd on hand to witness the action. Here are the starting lineups:
1/CF Jacob Robbin
s4/SS Tyler Stubblefield
7/DH Ric Bishop
25/C Jace Whitmer
11/LF Martin Baker
26/1B Andrew Martin
14/2B Bucky Smith
18/RF Clint Roques
21/3B Jon White
16/LF Peter Verdin
25/3B Colby May
33/1B Rich Poythress
29/C Bryce Massanari
23/DH Joey Lewis
5/RF Adam Fuller
12/CF Zach Cone
15/2B Michael Demperio
27/SS Miles Starr
Top 9th, KSU 7, UGA 11: Weaver comes back to try to finish the game. He threw two wild pitches in his warm-up tosses. Stubblefield starts the inning with a KSU hit right back up the middle. Bishop grounds into 6-4-3 double play (which I predicted before the at-bat began–not just a double play, but one of the 6-4-3 variety). Dean Weaver ends the game in sttyle getting Jace Whitmer to strike out swinging. UGA wins 11-7. Check back later for a audio recap of the game.
Bottom 8th, KSU 7, UGA 8: Levi Hyams is into pinch hit for Miles Starr and takes the first pitch out to right field. Matt Cerione pinch hits for Peter Verdin and does his best audition for the old “anything you can do I can do better” Gatorade commercials and hits a monster to center. Not the size of the Poythress monsters, but he got a hold of it enough to stand for a second and watch it fly out of here. It’s now KSU 7, UGA 10. That prompts another pitching change. I think that’s Nick Swisher warming up for KSU now. Now pitching is RHP #24 Sean Fream. His first three offerings miss badly. Great. David Thoms hits one of the weakest grounders of all time to first base but somehow beats it out. Just kidding. He’s out by a mile. Poythress swung and missed at the first one but his swing was so hard that 90% of the fans just threw out their backs watching. Luckily, Poythress is a beast and recovers from his back spasms to hit a home run to right. Georgia now has 6 home runs this game. Massanari gets under one and pops out to first bringing up Joey Lewis with two outs. Freams punches out Lewis with a great sequence of pitches but not before Georgia tacks on 3 more, as we head to the 9th it’s KSU 7, UGA 11.
Top 8th KSU 4, UGA 8: Earl Daniels starts out the inning giving up a double off the wall in center. Very close to being a home run. Daniels has a pretty wild delivery to the plate. I like it. He gets Andrew Martin to ground out to shortstop which holds the runner at second. That brings up Milton High School alum, Bucky Dent (Smith) who drills a single up the middle which brings in Andrew Martin to close the game to 5-8. That’ll do it for Daniels in our 92nd pitching change of the game. In comes the closer, RHP #22 Dean Weaver. He sports an ERA of 0.76 with 20 strikeouts. Well, there goes that ERA. Weaver gives up a shot to RF Clint Roques which brings the game to 7-8. Great, just when I thought the pace of this game might pick up. I think Weaver just likes to add the pressure in a closing situation. Those closers are nutty. New 3B David Thoms makes a stab at a ball drilled to third and guns out fellow thirdbaseman Jon White for the out. Scary moment there as Weaver gives up a deep ball that clears the fence and the foul pole in right. Weaver gets Jacob Robbins to fly out to center. See, Weaver just wanted to add some excitement. It’s KSU 7, UGA 8 as we enter the bottom of the 8th.
Bottom 7th, KSU 4, UGA 6: Brad Long has entered the game to pitch for the Owls. David Thoms enters the game for Colby May and strikes out. No cycle for May–at least I didn’t put my ESPN Streak for the Cash on it. Thoms looked lost at the plate striking out on a 1-2 half-hearted swing. Rich Poythress wasn’t able to hit his third homer of the day, but he did draw a four pitch walk to give the Dawgs a baserunner in this 2-run game. After several hit-and-run attempts, Massanari draws the walk. Joey Lewis strikes out on an outside pitch that must have just squeezed over the black part of the plate. KSU brings in Kenny Faulk to pitch. A passed ball allows UGA runners to move up to 2nd and 3rd. Taylor, the next batter, must have not liked the 3rd base coaches’ signal as he crushed a foul line drive down toward the 3rd base coaching box. Taylor draws the walk to load the bases. Lyle Allen hits a dribbler back to the pitcher, but KSU pitcher Faulk overthrows first base which allows Poythress and Massanari to score. Taylor is at third, and Allen ended up at second. Demperio hits a grounder to deep second, and appears to beat out the throw, but the umpire calls him out, which angers the fans greatly. Dawgs score 2, KSU 4, UGA 8.
Top 7th, KSU 2, UGA 6: Roques draws the walk to start the inning, then attempts to steal on a hit-and-run, however the “hit” was a pop out to left field. With one out, Robbins singles to center allowing Roques to advance to third. Stubblefield follows with a weak single to right field–Roques scores, Robbins advances to third. Ric Bishop hits a deep drive to center field which appears to be leaving the ballpark, but Taylor is able to make the catch on the warning track. Robbins tags and scores, to make it a 6-4 game. Earl Daniels enters the game to pitch and gets Whitmer to pop out to the SS. KSU 4, UGA 6.
Bottom 6th, KSU 2, UGA 5: Johnathan Taylor is in to pinch hit for Adam Fuller and he’s quickly ahead 3-0. He hits a weak grounder to short but it somehow escapes SS Tyler Stubblefield’s clutches and he’s safe at first. Stubblefield’s error is quickly punished as Taylor steals second. Zach Cone then hit a double bringing in Taylor to tack on another run for Georgia. Cone is then replaced at second by pinch runner #11 Lyle Allen. Dempiero sac-bunted to moved Allen to third. Miles Starr struck out and Peter Verdin lined out to center to end the inning. KSU 2, UGA 6.
Top 6th, KSU 1, UGA 5: It’s James and I’m back after changing my shorts due to Poythress’ second monster of the evening. Earls is still pitching and he opens the frame with a walk. He comes back with a strikeout of Ric Bishop and that’ll do it for his night as Coach Perno comes out to replace him with RHP #20 Steve Esmonde who’s met with a sharp single up the middle by Jace Whitmer. There’s one down with a man on first and second. There’s another rip up the middle which SS Miles Starr can’t quite handle though he recovers enough to get the out at second. There’s two out and men on the corners with 1b Andrew Martin at the plate. Esmonde gets ahead 0-2 but Martin hits a liner to center which brings in a run for Kennesaw. Bucky Smith then hits a lazy fly ball to left to end the Owls’ rally. KSU 2, UGA 5.
Bottom 5th, KSU 1, UGA 4: Back for the start of the 5th inning, Peter Verdin grounds out to start things off. Colby May strikes out–I’m still holding out hope for the cycle, all he needs is a 2b and a 3b, that’s not that improbable, is it? A brief delay occurs so the umps can talk about something…James will be back with the updates next inning. He’s busy reading about Wang of the Yanks (the ones in Tampa Bay) and his professor’s salaries here. Poythress starts the game back with a bang, literally, hitting his second slam to left center field. Bryce Massanari squeks one out of the infield for a 2-out base hit. Tignor throws a wild pitch that allows Massanari to advance to second. Joey Lewis ends the inning when he flies out to left field. KSU 1, UGA 5.
Top 5th, KSU 1, UGA 4: Looks like some rain may be moving in. Clint Roques starts the inning with a single to center, but White follows by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play. Robbins grounds out to the catcher to end the inning. The last few innings have been pretty uneventful, but that is advantage Bulldogs, in my opinion. KSU is going to need to start building momentum if they want to get back in this one.
Bottom 4th, KSU 1, UGA 4: On the first pitch, Cone hits a routine pop up to center field for the first out of the inning. Michael Demperio went down swinging for the second out. He never looked comfortable. Starr, in the 9-spot, popped out to center to end the inning. The only good thing that happened for the Red and Black that inning was that a young fan made a great catch on a Demperio foul ball. No change in the score, KSU 1, UGA 4.
Top 4th, KSU 1, UGA 4: Justin Earls is the new pitcher in the game for UGA. He’s had a tough season so far–opposing batters are batting .377 off of him. Earls starts the inning off by walking Baker, Earls’ 10 BB of the season. Andrew Martin hits a deep drive to the warning track in left field, but Verdin reels it in. The next batter, Bucky Smith (who, as it turns out, went to James’ alma mater) grounds in to the pitcher’s best friend, a double play. At the end of the inning, KSU 1, UGA 4.
Bottom 3rd, KSU 1, UGA1: Peter Verdin leads off the inning with a shot to left that barely clears the fence. It makes it into the pine trees to give the Dawgs a 2-1 lead. That’s his second of the season. Colby May then knocks a single to right as the KSU catcher goes out to calm down his pitcher. Mike just boldly predicted May to hit for the cycle. He’s already at a homerun and a single. Pitcher Kyle Clayton is very concerned with May at first as he’s thrown over there twice, much to the dismay of the crowd. Rich Poythress just hit an absolute BOMB to left center. WOW. UGA now leads 4-1. Bryce Massanari doesn’t make Clayton’s inning any easier with a double. The manager’s now out to visit Clayton who’s replaced by RHP #34 Wes Tignor who’s sporting a 7.90 ERA. Joey Lewis makes pretty good contact but it’s easily caught by CF Jacob Robbins for the first out. Fuller drills a liner to the left side but SS Tyler Stubblefield makes a fully-extended diving catch and easily doubles off Massanari at second to end the inning with the score now KSU 1, UGA 4.
Top 3rd KSU 1, UGA 1: It’s James taking over for Mike who’s exhausted having typed so much over the last two innings. I mentioned this to him while I was downing two hot dogs that Georgia pitcher Cecil Tanner looks really tight out there. His shoulders look tense. Can’t be good for pitching. He’s been all over the zone. He just gave up a hard-hit single to Jacob Robbins to start the inning who’s 8-10 stealing bases. Tanner got ahead 0-2 and forced a weak grounder by Tyler Stubblefield which is about as effective as a bunt as Robbins advances to second. He’s now at a full count to Ric Bishop who knocks one up the middle which is scooped up by SS Miles Starr and fired to Poythress for the out. Robbins advanced to third but there’s two outs. Tanner’s quickly ahead 0-2 and the Georgia faithful yells at the ump as the third pitch appeared to be strike three. Tanner gets him on the next pitch to end the inning, still KSU 1, UGA 1.
Bottom 2nd, KSU 1, UGA 1: Adam Fuller starts the inning with a routine ground out to the shortstop, Tyler Stubblefield. Next batter, Zach Cone, hits a weak pop out to right field. It really looks like Georgia is going to have a streaky day at the plate. Demperio obviously disagrees with what I just wrote and lets me know by hitting a 2-out double off the wall in left center field. After a wild pickoff attempt, Demperio moves to third, but Starr ends the inning by striking out. KSU 1, UGA 1.
Top 2nd, KSU 0, UGA 1: Whitmer strikes out swinging–Tanner’s 3rd K of the day. Martin Baker lays down a bunt which Tanner had trouble fielding allowing Baker to reach. Baker stole second on the next pitch. Next batter, Andrew Martin grounded out for a 1-3. Two outs in the inning. Tanner allowed his first walk to Bucky Smith. Clint Roques singles into center allowing Baker to score and Martin to advance to third. Smith steals second to get into scoring position, but Tanner recovers nicely with his fourth strikeout to end the inning. At the end of the inning, KSU 1, UGA 1.
Bottom 1st, KSU 0, UGA 0: Peter Verdin starts the inning with a chopper to 3B, but it thrown out at 1st. In the next at-bat Colby May hits his 10th home run of the season to dead center to put the Dawgs up 1-0. Rich Poythress doubled off the center field wall, coming up inches short of identical back-to-back homeruns. Massanari, in the next at-bat, hits a weak ground ball to third base for the second out. Poythress holds at second. Joey Lewis hits a screamer to KSU 3b Jon White who makes an excellent bang-bang play to nab Lewis at 1st. KSU 0, UGA 1.
Top 1st, KSU 0, UGA 0: Tanner started the inning with a K–Tanner averages just over a strikeout per inning coming into the game. Colby May made a diving stop for the second out. He knocked the ball down, rolled over it, but regained composure to throw Stubblefield out at 1st. Tanner capped off the inning with another K. At the end of the inning, KSU 0, UGA 0.