Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Georgia - Georgia Tech: Clean Old Fashioned Hate Renews On The Baseball Diamond

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets renew acquaintances tonight at Foley Field in Athens for the first of three games this season. 

To get a perspective on how UGA's season is going as well as the rivalry with Tech I contacted UGA Diamond Dawgs.

1.  How does UGA feel about their season thus far?
We feel great.  We have great pitchers in the weekend rotation – Alex Wood, Peter Nagel & Michael Palazzone.  The bullpen is full of relievers who have proven they can step in and close out the game, Bryan Benzor, Blake Dieterich, Chase Hawkins and several other freshmen pitchers.  Hitting has improved over this first month of the season and the Dawgs seem to be ready to dominate.  Hitting consistency has been a problem, but with the winning series over Tennessee I think our confidence level is high and we are ready to continue those wins over into this coming weekend at Vandy.

2. Tell me the about pitcher UGA is throwing on Tuesday. Has he been the weekday starter this year?
We have had several starters for the weekday games this year. Tonight’s pitcher David Sosebee has one win this season over Georgia State. He also pitched 2.1 innings during our second win over Alcorn State game. Alcorn State was able to get 4 hits, but no runs off of Sosebee.  Sosebee started in our win over Kennessaw State as well.  David has gotten some experience under his belt, and I think he is ready for a great game & a win vs. Tech.

3.  What does the rivalry mean to the program?
The rivalry is very important.  “We RUN this STATE!” Is a great saying, and to be able to say it for a whole year after the series is an incredible boost to the team and the fans.  If we could win this game in Athens, it would be a great starter to the series that continues at Turner Field and at Russ Chandler Stadium.

4. Is the rivalry devalued being an out of conference game?
Yes, SEC games are the most important on the Road to Omaha – but we still hate Tech. We want to beat the Bees every chance we get – embarrass them even.  We will not hurt our chances in the upcoming SEC game by using our weekend starting pitchers against Tech, but we will put our best relievers & weekday pitchers on the field to ensure our victory.

5. How close is the program to getting back to Omaha?
Given what our program has been through the last couple of years, we are closer than we have been.  The wins in the SEC tournament in May 2011 to be able to get us into the semi’s was awesome. We are still in that mode of thought & play to win it all.  We have proven we can do it with those SEC tourney wins and with the added new blood coming into our roster this year, new pitchers, in/outfielders and power hitters we are on the right path to make it to Omaha.  Our seniors have never been to Omaha, something that has never happened under Coach Perno.  I think their determination will feed the underclassmen’s drive to make that trip this year!

6. Who wins Tuesday night & why?
The Georgia Bulldogs, our hitter’s proved on Friday and Saturday that they can get the numbers on the board. Sosebee and our pitching relievers have proven they can step in and close the games out for us. GO DAWGS!!

My Take: I would have to favor UGA tonight as well.  Tech is throwing Zane Evans who played catcher last year and while facing a more difficult schedule has an ERA above 4.  For Danny Hall to get his 1,002nd win he will need the Jacket bats to come alive like they did this past weekend in the series win over Virginia Tech.

Game time is 7PM and will be televised on CSS.

Thanks again to UGA Diamond Dawgs for their input.

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