Sophomore LHP Alex Wood looks to set the tone Friday in Lexington for the Bulldogs.
May 12, 2011
Georgia returns to SEC action Friday at 6:30 p.m. when it begins a three-game series at Kentucky.
Even with a solid RPI and SEC record, Georgia (25-24, 14-10 SEC) still needs victories down the stretch to make the NCAA Tournament. At 14-10 in league action, which is fourth overall in the SEC, the Bulldogs appear to be in good shape for a spot in the eight-team SEC Tournament. However the Bulldogs need to finish one game over .500 to qualify for an NCAA at-large bid.
The Wildcats (22-27, 5-10 SEC) are 19-9 at home this year including a 2-0 win over #1 Vanderbilt (40-6, 19-5 SEC) last Friday. The Commodores won game two 10-3 and scored three runs in the ninth Sunday to take the series with a 6-3 decision. On Tuesday, UK posted an 8-5 home win over Indiana while the Bulldogs dropped a 4-2 decision to Mercer on Wednesday. Following the UK series, Georgia finishes the regular season with a four-game homestand starting with Kennesaw State on Tuesday and then top-ranked Vanderbilt Thursday-Saturday.
Last week, Georgia went 1-2 at Auburn, falling 4-3 (11) and 3-0 before a historic comeback Sunday. In game three, Georgia trailed the Tigers 8-0 after the first and 11-5 going to the ninth plus was staring at a Tiger sweep. However, Georgia scored nine runs on three hits a (Single, 3-run Home Run, Grand Slam) and two bases-loaded walks to cap one of the more improbable comebacks in school history. It marked the largest ninth-inning deficit (6R) and second largest overall deficit (8R) that the Bulldogs have overcome in a game in the David Perno era. In a 2006 SEC Tournament elimination game, Georgia trailed South Carolina 9-0 after the second inning and had the lead by the fifth en route to a 16-10 victory.
Probable Starting Pitchers For The UK Series
Friday at 6:30 p.m. EDT
UGA: Alex Wood, LHP, So. (4-5, 3.95 ERA)
UK: Alex Meyer, RHP, Jr. (5-5, 2.98 ERA)
Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EDT
UGA: Michael Palazzone, RHP, Jr. (8-2, 2.15 ERA)
UK: Corey Littrell, LHP, Fr. (5-5, 6.37 ERA)
Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT
UK: Jordan Cooper, RHP, So. (3-1. 4.23 ERA)
*Georgia has played the nation’s toughest rated schedule with an SEC-high 27 games versus ranked teams, and 13 wins over top 25 clubs. The Bulldogs are on pace to set a school record for best fielding percentage. Currently, they are at .975, and the record is .972 held by the 2003 squad.
*Sophomore SS Kyle Farmer (.298-7-48) ranks among the SEC RBI leaders with 48. He capped Georgia’s nine-run, ninth-inning comeback at Auburn this past Sunday with a grand slam in the 14-11 victory. In SEC action, he is batting .305-5-21. Overall, Farmer has hit safely in 25 of the past 27 games.
*Junior RHP Michael Palazzone (8-2, 2.15 ERA) is one of the top pitchers in the SEC with five wins over ranked foes and 88 IP. In SEC action, he is 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA and two complete games. He is a quarterfinalist for the 2011 Pitcher of the Year Award given by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
*Junior RHP Tyler Maloof is tied for the NCAA lead in saves. He is 15-for-15 in save situations this season.
*Junior DH/RF Chase Davidson had a career 5 RBI and two home runs in Sunday’s 14-11 win at Auburn. He went 1-for-2 with a double against Mercer this past Wednesday.
*Junior C Carson Schilling is starting to see more playing time. He had a key single in the ninth-inning nine-run rally at Auburn last Sunday and then got the start versus Mercer Wednesday. He provided the only RBI, a two-run single, and threw out a base runner trying to steal. He is 2-for-6 at the plate in seven games this year.
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College
Play-by-Play: Jeff Dantzler
Station: 960 AM-WRFC; 1230 AM-WFOM The Fan 2 (based in Marietta and covers Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton county)
TV: *Big Blue Sports Network (Fri. & Sat.), Dick Gabriel, Doug Flynn, Ryan Lemond; *Friday game available in select Fox Sports South markets around Atlanta; Saturday available in all Fox Sports South markets
The Johnathan Taylor Fund: Georgia junior outfielder Johnathan Taylor (J.T.) sustained a neck injury March 6 in a collision with a teammate during a game against Florida State. On March 7, Taylor had neck surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens to stabilize his spine. On March 11, he was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta where he is currently a patient.
To honor J.T., the Bulldogs are wearing “JT-2” decals on the back of their batting helmets; “JT-2” is painted on the Foley Field wall in left center; they carry a framed picture of J.T. with them for their dugout; Zach Cone, Peter Verdin and Levi Hyams have worn Taylor’s #2 jersey in several games this season.
Fans can donate to the Johnathan Taylor Fund at each home game as Diamond Darlings will have a station set up outside the gates and will be in the stands collecting too. Also, an account has been set up at First American Bank and Trust (FAB). Donations can be mailed to the following account or dropped off at any FAB location.
First American Bank and Trust, c/o Johnathan Taylor Fund, P.O. Box 1688, Athens, Ga., 30603.
A website where individuals can send Johnathan messages and check for updates has been set up by the family. To send an online note to Johnathan and the family, please visit: