Georgia Takes Aim At #3 Vanderbilt
May 18, 2011
ATHENS-----With a bid to the SEC Tournament already wrapped up, Georgia (27-26) now takes aim at collecting wins to make the NCAA Tournament as teams must be at least one game above .500.
Georgia has played an SEC-high 27 games versus ranked teams and leads the SEC with 13 wins over top 25 clubs. Also, the Bulldogs have played an SEC-high 28 road games. Add all that up, and the Bulldogs have the nation's toughest rated schedule and a stout RPI (No. 26 as of May 16). Up next, Georgia plays host to #3 Vanderbilt (42-8, 20-7 SEC).
Game one of the VU series is the SEC Baseball Thursday Night Game of the Week on ESPNU and will begin at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Game two will be Friday at 7 p.m. and the regular season finalé on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The SEC Tournament will be May 25-29 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., and is an eight-team, double-elimination format. This past Tuesday in Athens, Georgia posted a 9-4 win over Kennesaw State.
Did You Know? At 15-12 in league play, Georgia would be leading the SEC Western Division by two games, however as a member of the rugged Eastern Division, that's only good enough for 4th behind three teams ranked in the top five in Florida, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina.
In records dating back to 1950, Georgia holds a 94-74 edge in the series history with Vanderbilt. Last year, the series was limited to just one game, a 17-5 Vanderbilt victory, despite a ridiculous attempt by the Commodores to continue the series as their city and state was subject to historic flooding that caused death and destruction. In 2009 in Athens, Vanderbilt won the series 2-1. In 2008, Georgia claimed the series 2-1 in the Music City and clinched the SEC title en route to finishing second at the College World Series.
Bulldogs To Watch
Sophomore SS Kyle Farmer (.312-7-51) ranks among the SEC RBI leaders with 51. Overall, Farmer has hit safely in 29 of the past 31 games.
Junior 2B Levi Hyams (.343-4-35) batted .500 last week, going 8-for-16 with two home runs and five RBI. Hyams has hit safely in 21 of the past 23 games with a .370 average (34-for-92) and 22 RBI in this stretch.
Junior RHP Michael Palazzone (8-3, 3.09 ERA) has wins over #4 Florida, #5 Florida State, #9 LSU, #14 Arkansas and #24 Miss. State this year. In SEC action, he is 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA and two complete games.
Redshirt-sophomore RHP Tyler Maloof ranks 2nd in the NCAA in saves. He is 16-for-16 in save situations this season including 9-for-9 in SEC action.
Sophomore LHP Blake Dieterich (2-3, 2.95 ERA) made his first career SEC start this past Sunday and notched a road win over Kentucky.
Probable Pitching Matchups For The Series
Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPNU
UGA: Michael Palazzone, RHP, Jr. (8-3, 3.09 ERA)
VU: Sonny Gray, RHP, Jr. (9-3, 1.91 ERA)
Friday at 7 p.m. EDT
UGA: Alex Wood, LHP, So. (4-6, 4.38 ERA)
VU: Grayson Garvin, LHP, Jr. (11-1, 2.08 ERA)
Saturday at 2 p.m. EDT
UGA: Blake Dieterich, LHP, So. (2-3, 2.95 ERA)
VU: Taylor Hill, RHP, Sr. (4-0, 3.14 ERA)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College
Play-by-Play: Jeff Dantzler and David Johnston
Station: 960 AM-WRFC; 1230 AM-WFOM The Fan 2 (based in Marietta and covers Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton county)
TV: ESPNU (Thursday; Dave Neal, Kyle Peterson, Jenn Brown)
Ticket Information: Reserved Seat Tickets: $8; General Admission Tickets: $5
Order online via www.georgiadogs.com or by calling 1-877-542-1231
Foley Field Ticket Booth: Open 2 hours before each game
UGA Student Tickets: Free Admission with valid UGA Student ID Card
UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street, Gates Open two hours before each game
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:
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