Welcome to a damp, rainy Regions park in Hoover, Alabama for Georgia’s (#21, 37-20, 15-15 SEC) Southeastern conference tournament semifinal game against the LSU Tigers (#2, 43-16, 20-10 SEC). Georgia is undefeated in the tournament so far, the first time since 1994. Georgia went 1-2 against the Tigers during their April 3-5 series. If Georgia wins this afternoon, they will advance to the SEC Championship game versus Vanderbilt at 3pm Sunday for a chance to win their first league tournament ring.
Alex McRee and Daniel Bradshaw takes the hill for the Bulldogs and Tigers, respectively. McRee is 4-3 on the season with a 5.27 era averaging over a strikeout per inning. This season, McRee is 1-0 with an era of three against the Tigers. For the Tigers, Bradshaw is 3-0 with a 3.62 era. This is Bradshaw’s first career start against the Bulldogs.
LSU lost their first game of the tournament, so a loss this afternoon sends them home. If the Tigers defeat Georgia, the two teams will play later today in a game that will decide who takes on Vanderbilt Sunday.
FINAL: LSU wins 16-0–game two will begin at 9pm CT. Also, tomorrow’s championship game will begin at 12pm CT due to the threat of inclement weather.
Georgia Bulldogs LSU Tigers
lf – Johnathan Taylor 2b – DJ LeMahieu
cf – Matt Cerione lf – Ryan Schimpf
1b – Rich Poythress dh – Blake Dean
dh – Bryce Massanari c – Micah Gibbs
c – Joey Lewis cf – Mikie Mahtook
rf – Lyle Allen 1b – Sean Ochinko
3b – Colby May 3b – Tyler Hanover
ss – Levi Hyams rf – Jared Mitchell
2b – David Thoms ss – Austin Nola
Bottom 7th, LSU 16, UGA 0: Trevor Holder, Thursday’s pitcher, enters the game to pinch hit for Massanari, in what is his first career at-bat. O’Bryan, who was a defensive substitution earlier in the game, gets a base hit up the middle. Christian Glissen enters the game to pinch hit for Lyle Allen. Glissen goes down swinging. Will Harvil enters the game to pinch hit for Colby May–it is his first career at-bat. To the chants of “LSU-LSU-LSU,” Harvil goes down swinging. Final score, LSU 16, UGA 0.
SCHEDULING UPDATE, 9:19 PM CT: The second game will start 35 minutes after this one ends. Also, the championship has been moved up to 12pm CT due to the threat of inclement weather.
Top 7th, LSU 16, UGA 0: Hanover begins the inning with a fly out to deep center, where Cone now resides. They just showed an image of the UGA dugout linup card on TV–it’s ridiculous. If you want every small detail, go here. It’s going to take me 30 minutes to type them up. Mitchell get a nice single with a hit right back up the middle. Nola pops out to right for the second out of the inning. Derek Helenihi, who entered the game as a defensive replacement last inning, pops out to shallow right to end the inning. Georgia needs 6 runs this half inning to avoid being 10-run ruled.
Bottom 6th, LSU 16, UGA 0: Zach Cone enters the game to pinch hit for Taylor. He flies out to first base. Verdin enters the game for Cerione. He grounds to short and comes up inches short of beating out the throw to first. Poythress hits a chopper that hits Bradshaw in the side, but Bradshaw tosses the ball over to first to end the inning. LSU 16, UGA 0.
Top 6th, LSU 13, UGA 0: Chase Davidson walks the bases loaded (LeMahieu walked; Mitchell advanced to second; Hanover advanced to third). Lyle Allen makes his first pitching appearance by replacing Chase Davidson. Grant Dozar enters the game to pinch hit for Ryan Schimpf. Allen walks Dozar which allows Hanover to stroll home, 14-0. Chris McGee enters the game to pinch hit for Blake Dean. Dean appears to line out, but catcher’s interference is called–which puts McGee on first, and another run, now 15, on the board for LSU. Lyle Allen records his first career K getting Landry to go down swinging. I bet Landry’s going to hear about that later! Chad Jones enters the game to pinch hit for Mikie Mahtook. Jones walks…16-0. The inning finally comes to an end when Ochinko pops out to May, now playing at first. LSU 16, UGA 0.
I just talked to an SEC official–if this game ends before 10pm CT, the next game will be played tonight and will only consist of 7 innings.
Bottom 5th, LSU 13, UGA 0: Lewis flies out to deep center for the first out. All of the momentum, obviously, is in LSU’s favor. Lyle Allen walks to give Georgia their first baserunner since the first inning. May grounds into what looks like a 6-4-3 double play, but May beats out the throw at first to keep the inning alive. Hyams muscles a bloop single the other way into left to give UGA runners at 1st and 2nd. Davidson hits a roller back to the pitcher who throws to first to end the inning. LSU 13, UGA 0, we go to the 6th.
Top 5th, LSU 7, UGA 0: Ochinko blasts a double, his 14th of the season, to the left center field gap. Hanover follows with a single that moves to third. Mitchell hits a grounder to Hyams at short stop who throws to second to get Hanover, Ochinko scores. Nola collects his first career three-hit game with a double to right advancing Mitchell to third. LeMahieu grounds into the 6-3, but advances Nola to third and scores Mitchell. Schimpf gets his 14th homer of the season, and an RBI on the very next pitch. Dean singles to left field, then advances to third on a throwing error by Taylor. Gibbs doubles to right, scoring another run–for those of you keeping score, it’s 13-0.
Georgia is going to make a pitching change–right fielder Chase Davidson is making his first career appearance. His first warm-up toss hits the screen, and so does his second. Esmonde ends the day allowing 6 runs in 4 innings. LeMahieu flies out to center to end the inning–LSU 13, UGA 0.
Georgia’s not coming back in this game–if they’re still down by 10 at the end of the 7th, the game is over. It may be oin UGA’s best interest to try to extend this game for two reasons: 1) Make LSU use their pitching staff, and 2) delay game two until tomorrow morning.
Bottom 4th, LSU 7, UGA 0: In between innings, the fans really start to get into it–dueling chants of “LSU-LSU-LSU” and “UGA-UGA-UGA” last long enough to make the hair on the back someone’s neck rise. It’s 7-0, there was a five hour rain delay, and these fans appear to be enjoying themselves. Would that ever happen at a Braves game, even a playoff game? I don’t think so–two words: college athletics.
Cerione flies out to dead center begin the inning–Mahtook barely had to move. Poythress grounds out to Nola, the shortstop, who easily throws over to first in time for the out. Massanari ends the inning with a pop out to second. Bryce shows his frustration when he slams his bat to the ground on his way to first. LSU 7, UGA 0.
Top 4th, LSU 7, UGA 0: Schimpf grounds out on a routine groundball to second base. Next batter, Blake Dean forces David Thoms, again, to make the play–Thoms makes an excellent play moving to his left to field the ball, then throw to first in time for the second out. Gibbs draws a walk to give the Tigers a baserunner. Perno protests, and the homeplate umpire appears to warn him. The umpire took out a pad of paper–kind of looked like he was about to give Perno a yellow card. Mahtook flies out to center to end the inning–Dawgs need to get something going soon.
Bottom 3rd, LSU 7, UGA 0: Hyams hits a routine pop fly to left for an easy out. Thoms follows with a first pitch ground out to 3rd. Taylor hits a weak, very catchable ball to center field to end the inning. End of inning, no change in the score.
Top 3rd, LSU 7, UGA 0: Hanover starts the inning with a grounder to Thoms at second who throws to first for the out. Mitchell follows with a strike out, looking. Nola rips a two-out single under the diving glove of Levi Hyams. LeMahieu flies out to right to end the inning. Onto the bottom of the 3rd, LSU 7, UGA 0.
Bottom 2nd, LSU 7, UGA 0: Lewis skies the second pitch a mile high, but Tyler Hanover has no problem reeling it in for the first out of the inning. Allen sends a rope to left center field, but Mahtook moves to his right to make the catch on the edge of the warning track for the second out. May hits a week grounder off his hands back to the pitcher, who throws to first to end the inning. LSU 7, UGA 0.
Top 2nd, LSU 7, UGA 0: Blake Dean flies out to deep right field–Johnathan Taylor had to range back, but made the catch easily. On a full count, Esmonde record his first K on Micah Gibbs. Mahtook rips an Esmonde change-up into right, but Ochinko follows with grounder to third, that turns into a 5-3. At the end of the inning, LSU 7, UGA 0.
Bottom 1st, LSU 7, UGA 0: Taylor hits a dribbler towards second and beats out the throw from Nola. Cerione flies out to deep center–no runners advance. Bradshaw records his first strikeout of the game when Poythress goes down swinging–Taylor swipes second for his 23rd steal of the year. Massanari flies out to right field to end the inning. LSU 7, UGA 0.
Mid. Top 1st, LSU 7, UGA 0: I know that NCAA rules say 1 post per half-inning, but I don’t really categorize this as the same inning–the intent of the rule is to keep people like me from jeopardizing radio/TV contracts by providing play-by-play…which I’m not doing…
Steve Esmonde enters the game to pitch for the Bulldogs–and after a 4 hour, 27 minute rain delay, we’re off. Esmonde, who is 1-0 witha 4.71 era, throws a first pitch ball–and LeMahieu takes second. A throwing error by Lewis allows him to advance to third. The stadium has a solid amount of fans, and the LSU fans are still very loud with their “LSU-LSU-LSU” chants. Schimpf flies out to right to end the inning–ending the longest inning that I’ve ever witnessed…over five hours. On to the bottom of the 1st, UGA trails 7-0.
UPDATE, 6:03PM CT: The first pitch has been pushed back to 6:25pm CT. Also, if LSU hangs on to win, rumor has it that the second game will take place Sunday morning, though that has not officially been announced yet. Obviously, that would give Vanderbilt a huge advantage on whoever ends up being their opponent.
UPDATE, 5:56PM CT: The tarp is back on the field. There is another cell approaching, though it doesn’t look that big–I’m looking into it.
UPDATE, 5:12PM CT: The projected start time, assuming no more weather interruptions, is 6:15pm CT. Georgia and LSU did not do this–wish they had!
UPDATE, 5:00PM CT: The field crew is beginning to take the tarp off the field–more soon.
UPDATE, 3:30pm CT: The website it back up, but the tarp isn’t. It’s still raining pretty hard and looks like it may continue for a while. I’ll post updates as I get them. -MT
Top 1st, LSU 0, UGA 0: Well, my internet luck isn’t much better than Georgia’s. We’re under a weather delay still in the top of the 1st, but LSU has already put up 7 runs. Alex McRee is getting hammered giving up 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 hit batsmen. Anyways, my normal inning recap took so long to post (because the inning was so long), that Wordpress signed me out, thus, I lost everything. Below I’ve posted what I have on my scorecard. When we start back up, it will be normal again (and I’ll be sure to save first! Also, I’m posting in the middle of the inning, so look for a complete recap at the end of the 1st.
LeMahieu – grounds out to start game (1 out)
Schimpf – singles, then advances to second on wild pitch
Dean – hit by wild curve ball on hands
Gibbs – grounds into a 6-3 (2 outs), moves runners to 2nd and 3rd
Mahtook – walks, loads the bases
Ochinko – bloops single that stays in the infield, RBI – bases still loads
Hanover – hit by pitch – one more run scores (2-0 LSU)
Mitchell – ropes a double to right that rolls/swims all the way to the wall, 2 runs score (4-0 LSU)
Nola – Bases clearing triple, 2 rbi (6-0 LSU)
LeMahieu (2nd AB of inning) – single, RBI (7-0 LSU)
As I finish to write this, they pull the tarp out–the rain is really falling now–stay posted. -MT
Game underway — first pitch 1:45pm CT.