BULLDOGS vs. BRAVES
From 1988-2008, Georgia faced the Atlanta Braves 10 times in a spring training exhibition in Florida. Atlanta won all 10 meetings. Both teams used wood bats in the game and a 10-player lineup with a designated hitter. After the game, the Bulldogs received commemorative wood bats compliments of the Braves. Atlanta usually played its regular position players for the first part of the game while the pitchers were mainly its top prospects, However, twice the Braves started a Major Leaguer on the mound. In 2000, the Braves gave the start to Bruce Chen, and in 2006, it was Horacio Ramirez. Georgia hit a home run four times in the series: Josh Hudson in 1998 off Bruce Chen; Adam Swann in 2000 off Winston Abreu; David Coffey in 2002 off Scott Sobkowiak; Marshall Szabo in 2004 off Roman Colon.
1988-West Palm Beach, Fla.: Atlanta 5, Georgia 0
Atlanta scored all five runs in the first three innings as first baseman Gerald Perry went 2-for-2 with two RBI in that span. The game featured many rising stars in the Braves organization, including Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, David Justice, Jeff Blauser and Ron Gant. Former Bulldog All-American Derek Lilliquist earned the win while Joe Kelly took the loss.
Noteworthy: This was the first game against a professional team in Georgia history. The Bulldogs got just two hits, singles by Bruce Chick and Brian Jester.
1991-West Palm Beach, Fla.: Atlanta 2, Georgia 0
The defending NCAA champion Bulldogs held the Braves to just four hits but a two-run home run in the fourth inning by newly acquired first baseman Sid Bream (2-for-2, 2 RBI) was the difference. Georgia got just three hits including two from first baseman Doug Radziewicz.
Noteworthy: William Brennan picked up the win in relief of Charlie Leibrandt while Joe Bodvake was tagged with the loss.
1994-West Palm Beach, Fla.: Atlanta 10, Georgia 5
The Braves scored seven runs in their last three innings to beat the Bulldogs 10-5. Royal Thomas was the winning pitcher while Matt Clark got the loss for the Bulldogs. Ryan Klesko went 3-for-5 with a monster home run. Five Bulldogs drove in a run (Jim Polo, Scott Haley, Chris McCranie, Chad Whittemore and Pete Arenas).
Noteworthy: Georgia scored for the first time ever (2-0 in the first) and tied the game twice (3-3 in the fifth and 5-5 in the seventh). Atlanta hit four home runs (Klesko, Javy Lopez, Troy Hughes and Mike Kelly). Georgia's Lloyd Rowland, who hadn't played in a college game, went 2-for-2 and scored a run.
1996-West Palm Beach, Fla.: Atlanta 2, Georgia 1
Georgia played the defending world champions tough. A sacrifice fly by Jermaine Dye in the sixth was the difference as Georgia managed five hits to Atlanta's six. Carl Schutz was the winning pitcher while Doug Bridges was the tough luck loser. Tyler Houston went 2-for-2 for the Braves while Georgia's Joey Cranford went 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot.
Noteworthy: Georgia struck first but Atlanta answered, tying the game 1-1 in the second. Georgia's 275-pound defensive lineman/designated hitter Travis Stroud made what would be his only career appearance in a game. In two times at bat, he made three outs. Shane Pangle's run-scoring single for the Bulldogs' 1-0 lead made ESPN's SportsCenter.
1998-Kissimmee, Fla.: Atlanta 6, Georgia 1
Georgia sophomore Josh Hudson (being greeted at home, right) provided some early fireworks, blasting a solo home run off Bruce Chen for a brief 1-0 advantage. It would be the only extra base hit of the afternoon. The Braves answered with a run in the first, two in the fourth and three in the seventh en route to a 6-1 win, getting 10 hits, all singles. Adam Bowie earned the win while Kyle Goodson took the loss.
Noteworthy: Josh Hudson's home run was the first for a Bulldog in the series. Atlanta scored three of its runs courtesy of two balks and an error. Hudson had two of Georgia's four hits and threw out George Lombard, a former Georgia football signee, trying to steal second.
2000-Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: Atlanta 11, Georgia 3
Georgia fell 11-3 but matched the Braves in the hit department with 10. However, five of Atlanta's hits cleared the fences including two off of Kyle Magee who got the loss while Bruce Chen went two innings for the win.
Sophomore right fielder Adam Swann tied the game at 1-1 with a solo blast off Winston Abreu, marking only the second time in the series a Bulldog has homered. Atlanta got homers from Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders, Freddy Garcia, Trenidad Hubbard and Rafael Furcal. Atlanta's Andres Galarraga got a standing ovation in his first at bat. He hit a sharp grounder to third that Andy Neufeld gloved and fired to first to retire him, a nice play that was mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article about Galarraga's return after beating cancer.
Noteworthy: The national media swarmed down on the Braves complex this day with the arrival of pitcher John Rocker while for others the story was Andres Galarraga's first game back from cancer. Sophomore catcher Doc Brooks nearly had an inside-the-park home run but he was thrown out at the plate. Sophomore left fielder Kris Edge and junior designated hitter Mark Thornhill had two hits apiece.
2002-Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex: Atlanta 11, Georgia 3
Atlanta erased an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs 11-3 at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex.
Georgia went on top 1-0 in the first as senior centerfielder Darryl Blaze (2-3, RBI) singled off Matt Belisle, stole second and scored on a base hit by senior first baseman Matt Cavender (2-3, RBI). In the second, Georgia made it 2-0 as Justin Holmes (2-3) singled, took second on an error by shortstop Wilson Betemit and came around to score on another base hit by Blaze.
Senior Brandon Anglin started for the Bulldogs and the blanked the Braves through the first two frames. He gave up two hits and struck out left fielder Chipper Jones. Atlanta tied the game in the third on a two-run home run by second baseman Mark DeRosa (2-3, 2 RBI) off freshman Bo Lanier. The Braves struck for four runs on three hits in that inning which also featured Georgia's Ned Yost throwing out Betemit attempting to steal second.
Atlanta built a 6-2 advantage in the fourth on a two-run double by shortstop Jesse Garcia (2-3, 2 RBI). Trailing 8-2 in the sixth, Georgia sophomore David Coffey gave the Bulldogs another highlight as he connected for a solo home run off Scott Sobkowiak. It was Coffey's first home run since hitting a grand slam in the College World Series against Tennessee.
After senior starter Brandon Anglin, Georgia used six freshmen pitchers and then senior Max Havel recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning. Jung Bong picked up the victory for the Braves while Lanier took the loss. Bong pitched two innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Lanier surrendered four runs on three hits and walked four in an inning.
Noteworthy: A total of 27 Bulldogs saw action including eight pitchers. Georgia right fielder Adam Swann went 1-for-2 with a walk and made a nice defensive play in the fourth as he came in to cover second base on Garcia's two-run double to left field. Garcia ran past the base and Swann tagged him out on the relay throw from third baseman Lee Mitchell. Gary Sheffield went 2-2 and scored a run in his Braves debut.
2004-Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: Atlanta 11, Georgia 3
For the third straight time in the series, Atlanta posted an 11-3 win over the Georgia Bulldogs. A crowd of 3,447 at Cracker Jack Stadium saw the Braves outhit the Bulldogs 18 to nine. Offensively, junior catcher Clint Sammons went 2-for-2 with a double for the Bulldogs while Braves second baseman Richie Lewis went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Atlanta took the lead in the first inning, scoring five runs off Georgia starter Rip Warren. Shortstop Rafael Furcal led off with a triple followed by run-scoring singles by Marcus Giles and Andruw Jones and a run-scoring double by Mark DeRosa highlighted the scoring. Junior Marshall Szabo got Georgia on the scoreboard in the second inning with a solo home run off Braves starter Roman Colon. Colon went on to post the win while Warren got the loss.
Noteworthy: A total of 24 Bulldogs saw action including seven pitchers. Szabo's home run was the fourth by a Bulldog in the series. In his Braves debut, J.D. Drew was called out on strikes. Joey Side and Bobby Felmy singled and scored in the third inning to get the Bulldogs within three at 6-3. In his second at bat, Drew launched a solo home run off David Timm. Johnny Dobbs was the lone Bulldog to retire the Braves in order in an inning, doing it in the fourth. Chris Webb gave up three runs on four hits in the eighth but eventually struck out the side.
2006: Atlanta 10, Georgia 1
Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: Senior Kyle Keen opened the exhibition with a double off major leaguer Horacio Ramirez and later scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Joey Side for a 1-0 edge. However, the Braves went on to score 10 unanswered runs for their latest victory in the series. Freshman Iain Sebastian made his debut with two solid frames, allowing just one unearned run with three strikeouts. The Braves combined to score eight runs off senior Jason Fellows and redshirt freshman Stephen Dodson. Oscar Villareal struck out four in two innings for the win while Fellows got the loss. Seven different Braves drove in at least one run including Jeff Francouer who tied the game in the second. Kelly Johnson's run-scoring double gave the Braves the lead for good in the fourth.
2008-Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: Atlanta 8, Georgia 0
Georgia managed seven hits but the Braves kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in an 8-0 exhibition victory in front of 3,408 fans at Champions Stadium. Atlanta got its first run on an RBI-single by newcomer Mark Teixeira. Atlanta added three runs in the second on a two-run double by Chipper Jones and an RBI-single from Kelly Johnson to extend its lead.
Noteworthy: Senior third baseman Ryan Peisel went 3-for-4 to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Freshman Justin Grimm, senior Joshua Fields and sophomore Alex McRee all pitched a scoreless inning as nine pitchers saw action. McRee struck out the side around a walk and a base hit.
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