In year two of the Ron Polk era at the University of Georgia, the Bulldogs returned to the College World Series plus captured the Southeastern Conference championship. The Bulldogs posted a 47-22 overall record including 20-10 in SEC play.
Here are few of the highlights from the 2001 season:
- First College World Series appearance since 1990
- Most victories since 1990 when the Bulldogs won the CWS at 52-19
- First NCAA Regional Tournament appearance since 1992
- First-time Host for NCAA Regional and Super-Regional
- The SEC title, a first for Georgia since 1954
- School record 20 SEC wins
- All-time Home Attendance Record of more than 87,000 fans
Offensively, junior shortstop Jeff Keppinger, a fourth round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, put together one of the finest seasons ever by a Bulldog. He earned most valuable player honors batting .389 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI, all team-highs. He set a Bulldog single season record with 102 hits and 181 total bases and fell one RBI shy of owning that mark too.
In Georgia's 10-game NCAA post-season, Keppinger's feats looked to come straight out of Hollywood. He batted .500 (23-for-46) with nine home runs, 16 RBI and a perfect fielding percentage in 38 total chances.
On the mound, junior Jeremy Brown led the staff in 2001 going 7-4 with a 4.50 ERA and four complete games. A fifth round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins, Brown earned most valuable pitcher honors. Junior Jeffery Carswell was the team's top reliever going 10-2 with a 3.32 ERA.
In the career record book, junior Doc Brooks etched his spot in Georgia history, tallying 45 home runs to tie the mark set by former All-America catcher Roger Miller. Senior infielder Mark Thornhill closed out his career as a four-year starter, appearing in 226 games with 276 hits, both marks that rank third best in school history.
CURRENT BULLDOGS IN THE 2001 BASEBALL AMATEUR DRAFT
- Jeff Keppinger, 4th Round: Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jeremy Brown, 5th Round: Minnesota Twins
- Doc Brooks, 7th Round: San Diego Padres
- Rob Moravek, 10th Round: Texas Rangers
- Andy Neufeld, 25th Round: Oakland A's
- Brandon Moorhead, 42nd Round: Cincinnati Reds