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Foley Field 'revival' coming!

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Good morning, Bulldog Nation! As you know, Georgia takes great pride in having the best facilities in the nation - as that is just one piece of the puzzle of equipping our teams with the tools they need to be successful. Well, we wanted to keep you posted on some EXCITING news on the facility front: a fundraising effort is now underway in the Georgia Bulldog Club office to begin a 'revival' of Foley Field. The plans are amazing and we are very excited to get this project off the ground. It will be a new era in Georgia Baseball as we are already welcoming in a brand new head coach in Scott Stricklin, and now with facility upgrades in the works it is sounding even better! For the full release on the plans, click here. That link also contains a photo gallery of the plans, the project brochure, and information on how YOU can get involved and help improve Foley Field!

Thank you for your continued support of our teams, and as always, GO DAWGS!

A Big Bulldog Welcome

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On Wednesday the University of Georgia Athletic Association welcomed its newest member to the family as head baseball coach Scott Stricklin was officially introduced and spoke to media members, donors, and fans for the first time. Stricklin joins the Bulldogs after nine years at his alma mater, Kent State University, where he led the Golden Flashes to five NCAA Regionals and the 2012 College World Series. For more Stricklin bio information, which is pretty darn impressive, click here

In addition to Stricklin's press conference yesterday (the archive can be found below), he sat down for a 1-on-1 interview with GTV's Kevin Copp, which is also below. Stricklin and his family - wife, Cheri, daughters Sydney (11) and Keaton (5) and son Cale (8) - spent the rest of the day meeting various Athletic Department staff and administrators, touring campus, and taking photos.

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Must-read/must-watch:

Alex Wood's MLB debut

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It was just one short year ago that Alex Wood was playing baseball at UGA, and last night he made his major league debut with the Atlanta Braves. Wood was a second round pick in the 2012 draft and went to Class A Rome to start his career, before a quick rise through the ranks saw him in the majors last night.

Below are a couple good reads about the lefty's debut, in which he pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the win:

*AJC: Big night in Braves debut for ex-UGA pitcher Alex Wood here
*Red & Black: Successful MLB debut for ex-Bulldog, now Atlanta Brave Alex Wood here
*AtlantaBraves.com: Wood revels in rush of big league debut here

Follow Alex on Twitter @awood45.

Foley Family Makes Generous Donation To UGA Baseball

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While we've been keeping you updated on the renovations at Foley Field, including a brand new scoreboard and additions to "Kudzu Hill", there is now more progress on the horizon thanks to a generous donation from the Foley Family. The following previously ran on Georgiadogs.com.

ATHENS-----The Foley family of Columbus is synonymous with Georgia baseball, and they have provided the foundation for the Bulldogs latest stadium renovation, the UGA Athletic Association announced Thursday.

"The University of Georgia and the baseball program hold a special place in the hearts of our family," said Frank D. Foley, III, spokesman for the family. "We are pleased to honor the legacy of our grandfather and all passed generations of our family by providing this gift to lead the on-going fundraising for Foley Field. We recognize the importance of maintaining and updating the field and know it will be a tremendous benefit for the Bulldogs."

"We are very fortunate to have the continued loyal support of the Foley family and excited that they are taking the lead in this project," said Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity. "They have made a lasting impact on the baseball program in support of the student-athletes and the fans. The ballpark is in a beautiful setting, and we are taking steps to enhance it."

"Student-athletes come to Georgia because they know they are going to get a first-class education and compete in the SEC which is the premier baseball conference featuring top-notch facilities, fan support and instruction," said Georgia coach David Perno. "The Foley family has always been at the forefront of any major renovation effort at Foley Field. Their leadership will help us continue to recruit elite student-athletes that look forward to playing for Georgia along with providing an enjoyable game day experience for all fans visiting Foley Field."

The large-scale measures planned for the future include improvements to the dugouts, Georgia's locker room and team lounge, training room and batting cages. Also, an upgraded sound system, redesigning the stadium's main entrance and additional restrooms and concession areas along with an expanded press box are planned.

The UGA Athletic Association board of directors already approved and work is under way on a few items that are part of the master plan. Current construction scheduled to be completed for the 2013 season will make improvements to the right field area known as "Kudzu Hill," a new high-definition video scoreboard and new trees behind the outfield fence.

Since the late 1960s, Bulldog baseball home games have been played at Foley Field. Judge Frank Foley is considered one of Georgia's all-time greats for his contributions both on and of the field. He was a part of the 1908 Southern championship team. A distinguished alumnus, he is remembered by many as a kind and caring gentlemen.

Georgia has experienced tremendous postseason success at Foley Field, winning four NCAA Regionals and three Super Regionals. In the Perno era, the Bulldogs have advanced to the College World Series in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Overall, Georgia is 21-7 in the NCAA postseason at Foley Field including a remarkable 16-0 in elimination games.

Kudzu Hill Renovation

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Upon moving to Georgia from New Jersey, I had never heard the word "kudzu" before, but now I am pleased to talk about the new renovations taking place on Kudzu Hill at Foley Field!


 

photo.JPGConstruction has begun on what are being referred to as "perimeter improvements" at the UGA baseball field, with the project to include a retaining wall beyond right field in the area known as Kudzu Hill to stabilize erosion on the existing bank. That will also allow for a new plaza to be constructed with portable bleachers. And as you can see above, the stadium is getting a new scoreboard! 

 

The renovations will be completed in February prior to the start of baseball season.

ESPNU Campus Connection

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Tonight's baseball game vs. Ole Miss will serve as a great test for the Diamond Dogs, and will also serve as a great test for some University of Georgia students who are participating in ESPNU Campus Connection. The game will air at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU, with UGA students teaming with television professionals to make the broadcast happen from top to bottom - camera operation, sideline reports, everything.


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Last night, participants met with ESPNU's senior production manager Acie Wyatt to go over assignments for the game. Wyatt explained that the program strives to give viewers a glimpse into life as a student of that particular school, and that the end result is for the students to have fun, learn, and network as they seek a career in the field. From ESPN's perspective, Wyatt said they try to "pull the curtain back" to show all that goes into a broadcast. Wyatt also told the students to remember that although they each will be paired with a staff member, they are not merely shadowing.

"You are a part of the group," he said.

If you can't make it out to Foley Field for the game, be sure to tune in to ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. and remember the broadcast is happening with the help of our own UGA students! And you can also follow the Georgiadogs.com live chat tonight by clicking here.

Go Dawgs!

Georgia Ranked No. 11 By Baseball America

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Georgia is ranked No. 11 in the nation in the 2012 Baseball America Preseason Top 25, the publication announced Tuesday.  

"Preseason rankings are good to generate interest and a sign of respect for a program, and I think this will raise the expectations and accountability for our team," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We're looking forward to the season, and the outstanding support from the Bulldog fans at Foley Field.

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