It is a beautiful sunny day at Regions Park, just south of Birmingham, Alabama. The 6th seeded Georgia Bulldogs (35-20, 15-15 SEC) take on the 3rd seeded, 7th nationally ranked Ole Miss Rebels (40-15, 20-10 SEC) for a chance to stay in the winners bracket at 2:15pm CT. For a look at the bracket, click here. The SEC tournament, which consists of the top 8 teams in the SEC, is double-elimination style, meaning a team is eliminated when they lose two games. If the Bulldogs lose today, they will play Florida (who lost earlier this afternoon to Arkansas) tomorrow at 10 am. If they win, they will play Arkansas tomorrow evening at 5pm.
This year’s tournament appearance for the Bulldogs’ marks the first back-to-back appearances since the 2001-2002 season. So far this season, the Dawgs have gone 6-15 against the field (3-6 within our bracket). Georgia has never one the tournament and, has actually gone on to win the College World Series when they’ve gone 0-2 three times, most recently being 2008. Georgia went 1-2 when they played the Rebels in Oxford this season. In addition, the Rebels won the regular season SEC title.
I’ll be posting recaps every half inning (per NCAA media regulations). Follow WUOGsports on Twitter for score updates by the 1/2 inning.
FINAL: UGA 6, Ole Miss 3 — UGA will play Arkansas tomorrow at 5:00. WUOG will cover the event live on wuog.org/sports and on Twitter starting at 4:30pm
Georgia Bulldogs Ole Miss Rebels
rf – Peter Verdin cf – Jordan Henry
cf – Matt Cerione lf – Logan Power
1b – Rich Poythress dh – Matt Snyder
dh – Bryce Massanari 1b – Matt Smith
c – Joey Lewis c – Kyle Henson
3b – Colby May 3b – Zach Miller
lf – Zach Cone rf – David Phillips
ss – Levi Hyams ss – Kevin Mort
2b – Miles Starr 2b Evan Button
UGA: Justin Grimm, 2-4, 4.39 era
Ole Miss: Drew Pomeranz, 6-3, 3.95 era
Bottom 9th, UGA 6, Miss 3: Weaver begins the inning by putting Matt Smith down on strikes. Kyle Henson flies out to Matt Cerione in center for the second out of the inning. During the next at-bat, Weaver hits Miller in the hands giving the Rebels a baserunner. Tim Ferguson grounds out to short to end the game. Final Score, UGA 6, Ole Miss 3.
Top 9th, UGA 6, Miss 3: Hyams strikes out on a pitch in the dirt and then is thrown out at first for the first out of the inning. Starr hits a bloop double to left field. Power made a valiant effort, but came up just short. Peter Verdin goes down swinging on strikes. Cerione has no magic left in him–and he goes down swinging too. At the end of the inning, UGA 6, Miss 3. Ole Miss is down to their final three outs.
Bottom 8th, UGA 6, Miss 3: Mort is hit by a 3-2 pitch putting him on first. Jeremy Travis enters the game to pinch hit for Button. Travis flies out to center for the first out of the inning. The press box, like the stadium, is starting to fill up with purple and gold in anticipation the LSU-Vandy game scheduled to begin at 5pm . Earls’ wild pitch allows Mort to reach second. Next, Jordan Henry draws a four pitch walk. to put runners on 1st and 2nd.
Georgia is going to make a pitching change. Perno is going to bring Dean Weaver into the game. Power hits a fould ball down the right field line–Verdin tries to make the catch, but face plants on the bullpen pitching mound in route. After the trainer comes out, he stays in the game.
Power ends up popping out in the infield to Levi Hyams.Weaver gets Snyder to go down swinging to end the inning on a high fast ball. We’re going to the 9th, UGA 6, Miss 3.
Top 8th, UGA 6, Miss 2: Massanari begins the inning with a swinging strikeout. Lewis follows with another swinging K. It reminds me of Pomeranz in his first few innings. Colby May reaches first on single up the middle. Zach Cone goes down swinging to end the inning.
Bottom 7th, UGA 6, Miss 3: Henry flies out to begin the inning. Power gives Ole Miss a base runner when he draws the walk. Matt Snyder, after he hits two bombs just foul, strikes out looking. He started down the 1st base line anticipating a ball four call. At the end of the inning, UGA 6, Miss 3.
Georgia is going to make a pitching change–Jeff Walters enters the game for the Dawgs. Harvil ends the day with 2 K’s, allowing no hits and two walks in 1.1 IP. Matt Smith hits a base hit down the right field line allowing Power to advance to third. Kyle Henson hits a single idential to Smith’s scoring Power from third and advancing Smith to third. Walters walks Miller to load the bases for what feels like the fifth or sixth time today.
Georgia is going to make another pitching change. Walters leaves the game allowing one run on two hits and a walk. He didn’t record an out. Justin Earls enters the game with the bases loaded. Tim Ferguson enters the game to pinch hit for David Phillips. Ferguson pops out to second base to end the inning. At the end of the inning, UGA 6, Miss 3.
Top 7th, UGA 4, Miss 2: Cone singles, but advances to second on the throwing error. Cone advances to third after Baker throws a wild pitch. Levi Hyams strikes out swinging. Starr forces his way on when Starr is hit by a pitch. Verdin hits an RBI double to right, allowing Cone to score and Starr to advance to third. Cerione flies out to deep center, but allows Starr to score and Verdin to advance to third. Poythress ends the inning when he lines out to short stop. At the end of the inning, UGA 6, Miss 2.
Bottom 6th, UGA 4, Miss 1: Matt Snyder strikes out swinging to start the inning. Matt Smith hits a sharp grounder to first. The ball hits off Poythress and bounces to the middle of the infield allowing Smith to reach. A side note, there is action in the UGA bullpen. Miller, after being down 0-2, draws the walk to load the bases.
Georgia is going to make a pitching change. Grimm ends the day allowing 1 run (EDIT: at the end of the inning, he ends up allowing 2 runs) on 8 hits and 2 walks striking out 3. Will Harvil enters the game for the Dawgs. Harvil is 4-1 witha 2.72 era averaging just under a strikeout and inning.
Phillips hits a sac fly to left allowing Smith to score from third–UGA 4, Miss 2. On the full count, 2-out pitch, Mort draws the walk to load up the bases. Button strikes out to end the inning. At the end of the inning, UGA 4, Miss 2.
Top 6th, UGA 0, Miss 1: Zach Cone starts the inning with a lead-off single to center field. Next, Levi Hyams hits a single the other way putting UGA runners on 1st and 2nd. Starr pops his bunt attempt and Pomeranz makes a great, diving attempt, but drops the ball, then throws to third for the force out. There was some initial confusion–originally, it was rules that Pomeranz made the catch. Either way, there are runners on 1st and 2nd, with one out. Peter Verdin draws a full count walk to load the bases. Matt Cerione hits a 1-out grand slam to put Georgia on top, 4-1. Matt Cerione is known for this kind of thing–big time hitting, in big time situations. Pomeranz who started out great, really has been tailing off. There has been action in the Ole Miss bullpen for about an inning. Poythress draws a walk and advances to first base. Massanari singles to left putting runners on 1st and 2nd.
Ole Miss is going to make a pitching change. Pomeranz ends the day with 6 K’s and 4 runs (still responsible for two) on 5 hits and 3 walks. Nathan Baker enters the game in relief. Baker comes in 4-1 with 54 K’s on the season.
Lewis flies out to deep right–no runners advance. May flies out to shallow right to end the threat, but not after some damage. At the end of the inning, UGA 4, Miss 1.
Bottom 5th, UGA 0, Miss 0: Mort hits a shallow pop up to right field–it looks like it’s going to be caught, but Verdin bobbles it to the ground allowing Mort to reach first safely. Button hits a single just over second base. Ole Miss threatening with runners on 1st and 2nd. Henry lays down a SAC bunt which allows Mort and Button to advance to 2nd and 3rd. Grimm follows with a wild pitch, that allows Mort to score. During Power’s at-bat, the Rebels try a suicide squeeze–Power didn’t make contact, and Button was thrown out after a small rundown. Power grounds out to Poythress to end the inning. At the end of the inning, Ole Miss leads UGA, 1-0.
Top 5th UGA 0, Miss 0: Massanari hits a line drive to the left side, but it’s caught by Kevin Mort who happened to be in perfect position. Lewis hits a pop up down the right field line, but it’s caught on the warning track for the second out. For the second time today, Colby May grounds out to the shortstop. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss 0.
Bottom 4th, UGA 0, Miss 0: Matt Smith strikes out looking to being the inning. Kyle Henson hits a line drive for a single into left field to get things going for the Rebels. Miller hits a deep grounder to short stop, Hyams moves to his right and makes an excellent throw across his body to get the out at first. Henson advances to second. Phillips goes down swinging to end the threat. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss 0.
Top 4th, UGA 0, Miss 0: Verdin gets on with a base hit, but then attempts to steal and gets thrown out at second after the pitcher’s pick-off attempt to first. With Pomeranz on fire, baserunning mistakes may prove costly to Georgia. After working to a full count, Cerione draws the walk. Ole Miss ends the inning with a strike’im out, throw’im out double play. UGA 0, Miss 0.
Bottom 3rd, UGA 0, Miss 0: Evan Button hits a line drive just past a diving Miles Starr. Jordan Henry follows with a SAC bunt that moves Button into scoring position. Button attempts to steal during the next at-bat and is gunned down by Joey Lewis at third. It was a close play, and was I was surprised that Ole Miss didn’t protest the call–it looked like May bobbled the ball during the tag. Power walks on the next pitch. Matt Snyder hits a weak grounder to shortstop Levi Hyams who steps on second to end the inning. UGA 0, Miss 0.
Top 3rd, UGA 0, Miss 0: Zach Cone grounds out to second to begin the inning for UGA. Levi Hyams hits what looks like a bloop single, but Ole Miss right fielder David Phillips charges and makes an excellent catch for the second out. Starr goes down swinging for his fifth strikeout in three innings. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss 0. *Be sure to follow us on Twitter (WUOGsports) for inning-by-inning score updates!
Bottom 2nd, UGA 0, Miss 0: Matt Smith grounds out to begin the inning. Next batter, Kyle Henson hits a deep drive to center, but Cerione is able to reel it in for the second out. Miller hits a weak grounder to second–Starr charges and tries to scoop the ball to Poythress waiting at first. Both collide–Miller, who ultimately ends up on 1st, would have beaten the throw anyways. Phillips hits a sharp grounder out of the infield into left field allowing Miller to advance to third. Mort ends the Ole Miss threat when he flies out to center field. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss 0.
Top 2nd, UGA 0, Miss 0: Region’s Park is really a great facility–it will be interesting to see how much longer they’ll be able to keep the SEC tournament. They’ve been the host since 1998 (also hosting in 1990 and 1996). With newer stadiums starting to pop up such as Gwinnett and USC’s new facilities, it will be interesting to see what happens. Back to the action: Bryce Massanari goes down swinging giving Pomeranz his third K of the afternoon. Lewis follows by striking out. The Ole Miss fans are loving it–Pomeranz is on fire. Colby May grounds out to Kevin Mort, the shortstop, to end the inning. UGA 0, Miss 0.
Bottom 1st, UGA 0, Miss 0: Jordan Henry starts the inning with a base hit right back up the middle. Henry is batting .342 with about 30 RBI this season from the lead-off spot. Logan power hits a mile high pop-up, but Henry is stealing on the play. Poythress makes the catch, then doubles up Henry with a 3-1 double play. Snyder grounds out to second to end the inning. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss 0.
Top 1st, UGA 0, Miss 0: After fouling off several pitches, Verdin grounds out to third base. The stadium has filled up nicely with a huge Ole Miss contingent down the first base line. Cerione goes down swining for out number two. Rich Poythress, who was recently named 1st team All-SEC, and to the SEC All-Defensive team, goes down swinging to end the inning and give the Ole Miss fans something to cheer about. At the end of the inning, UGA 0, Miss, 0.