Busy day here at WUOG Sports. James has spent the morning/afternoon watching half naked guys work out. Meanwhile, I will be offering coverage and insight of Georgia’s contest against their in-state rivals.
It’s a tough road test for Georgia tonight against #3 Georgia Tech. While Georgia took two of three from Siena this weekend, the Dawgs have struggled against elite competition… I can only point to that ugly series against Florida State so many times.
Georgia straight up stinks right now. They’re pitching staff leads the SEC in ERA (7.41) and walks (73). To add insult in injury, they’re also last in the conference in runs scored.
While times may be tough, Georgia is a team capable of turning it around. They’ve battled big injuries all year to their starting infield. Chase Davidson and Kyle Farmer are still going to be out for a little while longer. I haven’t gotten further word about Levi Hyams who was unable to hit on Sunday after reaggrivating his back injury.
Starting on the mound for the Dawgs will be freshman Blake Dieterich. This is Blake’s first start of the year. The lefty is 0-1 in 7 innings of relief work with a 6.14 ERA.
Georgia Tech will counter with right-handed sophomore Mark Pope. Pope was Tech’s closer last season, he’s 1-0 with 0.00 ERA in one start this year.
The lineup for the Dawgs tonight is a new look: Cone, Taylor, Verdin, Shipman, Glisson, May, Taylor, Hankins, Hyams
Tech’s lineup is nearly unchanged from the one they’ve used all year: Rowland, Esch, Plagman, Leonida, Skole, Dietrich, Burnette, Dantzler, Nichols
Pope mows through the Georgia hitters with ease. Cone, Taylor, and Verdin all K swinging. Pope has brought the fire tonight.
Rowland leads off Tech’s night with a big home run bound for the frat houses in right field. Who knew nerds had fraternities? Tech leads 1-0.
Esch draws a walk and Plagman follows with another home run. This one was crushed out to right as well. Dieterich’s first career start isn’t going too well. Tech leads 3-0.
Dieterich comes back to get Leonida to pop out to Shipman at first. Skole flies out to JT in left. Derek Dietrich (no relation) strikes out looking to end the inning.
Shipman gets things started on a good note with a single into the gap in left center.
One thing to note about Ship’s position in the lineup today. The three home runs this weekend obviously earned the trust of Coach Perno.
Glisson draws the walk to put a man in scoring position as Captain Craptastic steps into the batter’s box (for those not keeping up, Colby May). May goes down looking, is that any surprise? I don’t get his approach… swing at bad pitches and look at good ones.
Zach Taylor flys one out to the warning track in left. That won’t be good enough to advance Shipman, so Georgia has men on first and second with two out.
Hankins grounds one weakly to Dietrich who fires on to Plagman at first for out number three.
Georgia 0 – The guys with protected pockets 3
Due up: Burnette, Dantzler, Nichols
Dieterich gets another strike out by convincing Burnette to chase a curveball in the dirt. Great break on that pitch.
Dieterich leaves a curveball up in the zone and Dantzler adds another home run for Georgia Tech, that one got out of here in a hurry. Tech leads 4-0.
Nichols swings for strike three on a breaking ball that gets away from Glisson and rolls the backstop. It’ll be scored a strike out for Dieterich, but Nichols makes it to first base and Georgia adds to its conference leading wild pitch tally.
Rowland fans swinging for out number 2. Dieterich has gotten a number of guys to chase that breaking ball into the dirt.
Esch grounds one up the middle for a base hit. The Jackets have men on first and second for the big slugger Plagman. The lumbering oaf gets under one and skies it into right center for out number three.
Georgia 0 – Nerd patrol 4
Due up: Hyams, Cone, J. Taylor
Hyams stands in, he’s taken some 3/4 cuts, which isn’t great but is a big step from Sunday. He grounds out to Dietrich at short for out number one.
Got to love the effort out of Zach so far tonight. He goes down swinging on a bad pitch in the first. Then he goes down on three straight pitches in the third.
JT flys one out to centerfield for out number three.
Georgia 0 – Calculus Crushers 4
Due up: Leonida, Skole Dietrich
Leonida gets aboard to start the third with a base hit to the gap in left-center field. Blake quickly gets Skole to pop out for out number one.
We’ve got Dieterich facing Dietrich. Do note that Georgia’s Dieterich spells his with an “e”. Dietrich without the “e” draws a walk and Tech has a threat building.
Burnette chops on to Hyams at short, quick flip to Hankins at second, on to Shipman at first. 6-4-3, a beautiful double play and Georgia is out of the third unscathed.
Georgia 0 – (insert creative insult here) 4
Due up: Verdin, Shipman, Glisson
Plagman makes a heck of an athletic grab to rob Verdin of a base hit through the gap on the right side. He hustles over to first for out number 1.
Pope fans Shipman with a high fastball. I’ve got some questions for the ump on that one. Atrocious call. Strikeout number 6 for Pope.
Plagman again with the leather over at first base. Nabs a Glisson grounder and fires on to first to record out number three.
Georgia 0 – North Avenue Nerd Collective 4
Due up: Dantzler, Nichols, Rowland
Steve Esmonde will be the new hurler for Georgia. A rough night for Dieterich who surrendered three homers and struggled with leaving pitches up in the strike zone.
Dantzler skies one out to left-center where JT will settle under it at the track for our number one.
Nichols stands in. Its worth mentioning that his up to bat song is “All the Way Turnt Up” which, aside from being a grammatical nightmare, was the theme song for Tech’s football team this season. What’s funny is that he uses the ringtone version instead of the actual song… lamer than lame.
Nichols draws a walk. Rowland powers a fly ball out to the track in left, the wind will keep it in the ball park for the second out.
Reader question #1: Brian wants to know “who are the best players to come out of each school?”
Well Brian, the obvious answer for the Dawgs would be Billy Henderson, who, at one point held every major record that UGA had in baseball. But, since you’re probably looking for modern players, I’ll just say Gordon Beckham.
As far as Tech is concerned, it can be a number of guys. Kevin Brown and Nomar Garciaparra immediately spring to mind. But, I think I’d have to give the nod to Tech’s all-time home run king, Jason Varitek.
Esch flies out to center to end the inning.
Georgia 0 – Gnats 4
Due up: May, Z. Taylor, Hankins
Colby takes an ugly pitch and grounds it to short for out number one. Zach Taylor strikes out. That’s 7 Ks for Pope, he is an absolute monster tonight. Hankins grounds to short and is thrown out on one of the best arms I’ve ever seen by Dietrich at short.
Georgia 0 – WoW Fans 4
Due up: Plagman, Leonida, Skole
New pitcher for Georgia. Senior Justin Earls will replace Esmonde out there. Perno was being looked at as the sturdy arm in the Georgia bullpen. So far this season, steady and Georgia bullpen don’t really go together.
Grounder down to Shipman, well fielded and tossed on to Earls for out number one. Good play by the big man over at first.
Leonida gets a hold of one and sends it deep out to right center. Verdin shows some athleticism to track it in for out number 2.
Shipman makes a play similar to his first one, tracks down a grounder and tosses to Earls. Inning. Over.
Georgia 0 – Comic Book Guys 4
Due up: Hyams, Cone, J. Taylor
Hyams may not be able to swing the bat, but he can still get on base. A well placed bunt and he’s on first to lead off the Georgia 6th.
Cone smokes the 1-1 pitch down the third base line. Dantzler can’t hold on to it and it’ll bounce off the bullpen fencing and off the wall. Cone is in safe with a triple. Levi scores on the play Tech leads 4-1.
Taylor with a weak grounder down to Plagman. He looks Cone back to the bag and is able to snag JT at first for out number 1. Georgia still has a man 90 feet away.
Verdin bloops one and a diving Esch can’t nab it. This one will plate Cone, Verdin on first. Tech leads 4-2.
Shipman was looking for a fastball he could carry out of here. No luck a knee buckling curve strikes him out for out number 2. That’s 8 K’s for Pope.
Great rip from Glisson over the head of Dietrich. Verdin will speed around to third. Men on the corners for the Sultan of Strikeouts.
No surprise, Colby swings and misses for the strike out to end the inning. This slump is starting to hit epic proportions…
Georgia 2 – Bumble bees 4
Due up: Dietrich, Burnette, Dantzler
Dietrich chops one down to Colby May and the sophomore flings one on to Shipman to record the first out. Chase Burnette quickly grounds out to Hankins at second for out number two.
I’ve got to chuckle every time one of the Tech players walks up to a country song. I somehow can’t picture calculators going well with Chevys.
Dantzler goes down on a great third strike pitch. That’ll send this one to the 7th
Georgia 2 – Dorks 4
Due up: Z. Taylor, Hankins, Hyams
Taylor finds his way on to start the inning, that’s two innings in a row for Georgia. A high pop up by Hankins hangs up in shallow center and Dietrich falls down dropping a ball that would have been part of a sure fire double play. Taylor misses the diving Esch to get in to second safely. Men on first and second with on one out.
A bunt by Hyams down the third base side is fielded well by Pope, he fires on to third and nails Taylor the lead runner. So, first and second with one out and the hero of the 6th, Zach Cone steps in.
Cone puts a ball in the left-center gap an absolute shot. Hankins will score, Hyams will score, and Zach will slide in to third with his second triple of the night. 6 bases, 3 RBI. We’re all tied up 4-4.
Jake Davies will be the new hurler for Georgia Tech. You Braves fans will likely remember his brother Kyle. It’s more likely that you don’t want to remember the mountain of suck that was Kyle Davies.
Davies fans Johnathan Taylor for out number two. Now Danny Hall will engage in my least favorite practice in all of baseball. He’ll be bringing in Patrick Long (a righty) to face the right-handed Verdin. You are a terrible man Danny Hall. A horrible, low down, terrible man.
Verdin rips one down the line for a double. That will plate Cone. Ole Danny Hall tastes a bit of karma. Georgia leads it 5-4.
Ok Danny, I’ll be waiting for you in the parking lot after this one. After bringing in the lefty Davies just to face a left-handed Taylor, he rolls with the right handed Long to tangle with right-hander Peter Verdin. Hall will once again head to the pen opting for a left hander Zach Brewster to take on Robert Shipman. Three batters… three pitchers.
One of the first rules I’d make if ever appointed Supreme Chancellor of Baseball: set a limit on the number of pitching changes that can be made. You get one mid-inning pitching change per time through the line-up. No more changing pitchers 3 times in an inning for strategic purposes. It would shorten the game and salvage my sanity.
Shipman draws a walk, I’m crossing my fingers that Danny Hall doesn’t emerge from the dug out. He doesn’t and Glisson goes down swinging to finally end the top of the 7th.
Georgia 5 – World Champions at Failure 4
Due up: Nichols, Rowland, Esch
Earls quickly retires Nichols, but Rowland will get the Jackets back on the base paths with a base hit to right. Big moment for Earls with Esch up and Plagman waiting on deck.
Is it extra nerdy for Tech to play Star Wars music at their games? I think so. Especially when they have a coordinated dance to it. These people make fun of themselves.
Esch bloops a single in to center field for another base hit. Tension is high at this moment, Georgia Tech has a big threat looming, especially with Tons of Fun Plagman standing in the left handed batters box.
One of Tech’s proudest traditions is the unibrow. Nomar Garicaparra had one, Victor Menocal had one. Nearly every great Tech team had a player with a unibrow. This year is no exception… can someone introduce Mr. Plagman to a pair of tweezers?
After a grounder down the line and foul put every one on the edge of their seats, Plagman weakly flies out to Hyams at short. Bullet dodged and on comes Cooper Moseley in relief of Earls.
Cooper is being called in to action after pulling off the rare double-choke Sunday against Siena. As a reliever, he gave up a three-run homer to the Saints in the top of the ninth, and then struck out to end the game with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth.
The offering is rocked back up the middle by Leonida for a base hit in to center field. Rowland will make it around to score. We’re tied again 5-5.
Skole puts a charge in to one, but Cone is able to track it down for out number three. This game is getting good.
Georgia 5 – Trekkies 5
Due up: May, Z. Taylor, Hankins
Danny is obviously a fan of the blog. He’s got a new pitcher out there in Andrew Robinson, but he decided to make the change during the break, rather than in the middle of the action.
May gets selective a draws a walk, much to the chagrin of the Tech fans. They’re booing this umpire like he just made an inaccurate Star Trek reference.
May gets caught stealing for out number one… not totally sure why Colby was running on that one… might have been a hit and run gone awry.
Things are quickly made all right though… after reaching on a single, Zach advances down to second on a passed ball by Leonida. Go ahead run on 2nd with 1 out.
Hankins clips one off the end of the bat and down to Esch at second base. The second baseman charges and gets out number two at first. Zach stands 90 feet away from putting us in the lead.
Levi takes a gamble by trying to bunt with two strikes, he fouls it off and he’ll be called out. I know Perno values his defense, but we’ve got to have someone that can swing a bat on the bench he can use.
Georgia 5 – Lunch Money Donators 5
Due up: Dietrich, Barnette, Dantzler
The closer Alex McRee is in here. He had a rough go of it against the Seminoles two weeks ago… but hey, who didn’t?
He plunks Dietrich on the arm, that one is going to leave a mark in the morning. Ouch. Lead off man is on for the Jackets. He’ll issue a walk to Barnette on four straight pitches… Big Al is really scuffling here.
Perno will come out and have a word before McRee faces Dantzler. It helps, slightly, McRee walks Dantzler on five pitches. Oh boy, bases loaded with no one out.
Jason Garofolo will come on to pinch hit for Nichols. He’ll go down swinging on a nail-biting 3-2 pitch. Double play is on, but my heart is still pounding.
Rowland steps up, 2-4 tonight with a big home run in the first. He golfs at a McRee curveball for strike one. Fastball misses for ball 1. Gets a tip on a McRee fastball high in the zone, 1 and 2. Curve ball in the dirt again gets Rowland to chase… big steeerike 3.
Up comes the second baseman Esch, he’s 2-3 with two base hits tonight and a walk. lefty on righty. McRee misses with his first three pitches all fastballs that can’t seem to find the zone. A fourth fastball is high and its ball four. McRee walks in a run and Tech leads it 6-5.
Here comes Plagman, the hulking left hander crushed a home run in the first inning. McRee misses with a curve ball in the dirt, ball one. A fastball finds its way in for strike one. Plagman gets on top of one and fouls it off for strike two. WOW. Beautiful strike on the corner. Strike three and Georgia gets out of it.
Georgia 5 – George Lucas Fan Club 6
Due up: Cone, Taylor, Verdin
No closer tonight so far. Robinson will stay on here in the top of the 9th.
Zach comes up, a triple would be huge. Instead he flies one out to the warning track in right-center for out number one.
Taylor goes down looking on a called third strike. I’m sorry, but that strike was a load of crap… way way outside.
Verdin finds himself down 0-2 with two out on the back of two poor calls by the home plate umpire. He takes a half cut on a high fastball for strike three. Georgia fought hard, but Georgia Tech came through in the end.
Final Score: Georgia 5 – Georgia Tech 6