Wednesday, February 20, 2013
With the loss, Georgia drops to 1-3 on season while Kennesaw State improves to 4-0. Justin McCalvin earned the win for the Owls after allowing just one hit, no runs and three strikeouts through two innings of work. Sophomore Jared Walsh took the loss for the Dawgs, giving up one hit and one run over 1.1 innings.
“We need to get some confidence, and we’ll be in good shape because we’re still working the kinks out,” said coach David Perno. “That’s why you play 56 games, and I’m confident it will come together. I give credit to Kennesaw State, they threw strikes and played well. We just have to create some more scoring opportunities. I thought our pitchers did a good job, and I liked how David Gonzalez did in his debut.”
Gonzalez made the start for Georgia, the first of his career, and he opened the game by recording a strikeout against Jacob Bruce. Neither team scored through the first two innings, and it wasn’t until the third inning that the Dawgs finally placed a runner on base. Justin Bryan reached first in the bottom of the third with one out on an error by the third baseman, but the Dawgs were unable to push any runs across.
In the fourth inning, Gonzalez issued a lead-off walk to Bo Way, and the next batter grounded out to third, allowing Way to advance to second. Max Pentecost then singled to center to score Way, giving Kennesaw State a 1-0 lead. Senior Blake Dieterich entered the game to relieve Gonzalez and forced the next two batters to pop out and strike out, respectively.
Cole recorded Georgia’s first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth, ripping a two-out double down the left field line, but a fly out to left ended the inning without any runs scored.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning, but Georgia third baseman Curt Powell had a strong defensive effort in the top half of the inning, diving across his body to stop a hard-hit ball down the line that prevented a base hit. Bryan Benzor entered the game to pitch for the Dawgs in the sixth inning, and he surrendered a leadoff single up the middle to Way before Georgia quickly turned a 6-4-3 double play on the ensuing batter to get out of the jam.
The Dawgs finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth inning that began when Phillips recorded a lead-off single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt down the first-base line by Nelson Ward moved Phillips to second with just one out. Two batters later, Farmer dropped the ball in just fair down the left-field line for a two-out double that scored Phillips and tied the game at one run apiece.
The Dawgs retired the Owls in order to start the seventh before threatening to score in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Sean McLaughlin sent a two-out single to center and then advanced to second on a wild throw by the pitcher over to first, but a strikeout ended the inning for the Dawgs.
Georgia brought in reliever Jarrett Brown in the eighth inning, and Brown hit the first batter of the inning, Kal Simmons, to place a runner on first. A sac bunt by the next batter allowed Simmons to move into scoring position at second with just one out. The Dawgs committed an error two batters later that placed runners on the corners with two outs, but Walsh entered the game at this point and came up with a huge strikeout against Pentecost to end the inning
Georgia was unable to score in the bottom of the inning, and in the top of the ninth, Walsh issued a lead-off walk to Almonte to put the go-ahead run on base. A sacrifice bunt down the first base line by Chris McGowan allowed Almonte to move down to second, and an infield base hit by Kody Belcher put runners on the corners with just one out. Walsh then struck out Anthony Duran, but a fielder’s choice on the next play allowed Almonte to score the go-ahead run for the Owls.
Cole drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth as Georgia attempted to rally for the tying run, but two back-to-back fly outs to center field sealed the 2-1 victory for Kennesaw State.
The Dawgs return to action this Saturday in a doubleheader against Belmont. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Foley Field. This is a slight change to the schedule as the series with the Bruins was set to begin on Friday. Fans with tickets for Friday’s game can exchange them for a ticket to Saturday’s game at the Foley Field ticket window or to a future game. They can also exchange that ticket to a future home game this year at the UGA Ticket Office. Tickets for Saturday’s game will be good for both games that day.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
FOOTBALL / GYMNASTICS
Former University of Georgia all-star quarterback Buck Belue and national champion gymnast Heather Stepp McCormick will be inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday evening during annual ceremonies held in the Macon City Auditorium.
Belue led the Dawgs to the 1980 SEC and national championships while Stepp led the Gym Dawgs to the 1993 national title.
Belue was a winner, leading Georgia to a record of 27-3 in games he started. He came from the high school football hotbed of Valdosta. Dawg fans got their first taste of Belue in 1978. As a true freshman, he came off the bench late in the game to lead Georgia to a dramatic 29-28 come-from-behind victory over arch-rival Georgia Tech on national television.
Over the next three seasons, he led Georgia to two SEC championships (1980 and '81), a national championship in 1980, and earned first team All-SEC honors twice (1980, ‘81).
Belue was probably the most productive quarterback to play under Vince Dooley who coached the Dawgs for 25 years. Following his senior season, Belue was prominent in the Georgia record books. He was second in career pass completions (264), second in career passing yards (3,864), second in career completion percentage (54.6%), and second in career TD passes (32).
While his career was exemplary, he is still most remembered for a single game in his junior season. Dawg fans will certainly never forget November 8, 1980, against Florida in Jacksonville. Georgia, ranked second nationally in the polls and undefeated, had been carried all day by Herschel Walker and a stingy defense, but the Dawgs found themselves down 21-20 with less than two minutes to play. Even worse, the Dawgs were backed up inside their own ten, and Belue was suffering through one of the worst games of his career.
But late in the game on a third and seven from Georgia's own seven-yard line, Belue scrambled out of the pocket, found wide receiver Lindsay Scott going across the middle, and completed what has become a legendary 93-yard TD pass. The improbable touchdown with 1:04 left in the game kept Georgia's undefeated season intact and elevated the Dawgs to the nation's number one ranking over Notre Dame which had been tied earlier the same day. Georgia then defeated Auburn and Georgia Tech to close out the regular season 11-0 and defeated Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl to claim the undisputed national title.
He was also an all-star college baseball player being named All-SEC first team as a freshman. That year, he hit .373 and set a Georgia record with 13 home runs. He continued his college baseball career and, as a senior, hit .328 with six home runs and 31 runs-batted-in.
Stepp’s gymnastics career couldn’t have ended any sweeter. In 1993 the native of Mt. Clements, Michigan, led the Gym Dawgs to their third NCAA national team title and the next day she added two more individual NCAA championships to her already impressive resume.
In all, Stepp was one of Georgia’s most decorated gymnasts, winning three individual national titles and two individual SEC titles. At the time of her graduation, she held the school record on every event including the all-around. She was named an All-American a total of nine times.
But it wasn’t the titles that defined Stepp’s career at Georgia. In 1991 she suffered a season-ending elbow injury while warming up on the vault at a meet in Utah. Suzanne Yoculan called it the most serious injury in her first eight years as head coach.
Doctors said Stepp had just a 10 percent chance of regaining normal use in her arm – much less attempting any more gymnastics. It seemed as though her Georgia career was over.
But Stepp proved the doubters wrong. She immediately began the rehabilitation process that lasted all day, every day, for the entire summer of 1991. What started as mobilization and range-of-motion exercises eventually turned into strength and flexibility drills. Somehow it looked as though she would compete again.
As a junior she had arguably her best season. Stepp won the all-around competition in Georgia’s first meet of the year, but that was just the beginning. She was the national vault champion and the national runner-up in the all-around. She was a first-team All-American on three events, won two SEC titles and two NCAA regional titles and was the team MVP. The Honda Sports Awards Program honored Stepp with a unanimous selection for the Inspiration Award, which is presented to a female athlete who shows courage, perseverance and determination in overcoming obstacles to compete athletically.
Defensive lineman Toby Johnson of Hutchinson Community Community College has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia according to an announcement Tuesday by coach Mark Richt.
Johnson is a native of College Park and a graduate of Banneker High School. At 6-4, 310 pounds, Johnson was rated as the number two junior college defensive end prospect in the country.
“We are thrilled that Toby has decided to become a Dawg,” said Richt. “We’re looking forward to watching him compete for playing time this upcoming season.”
Johnson is the 33rd signee for the Dawgs, he is currently rehabbing from a torn MCL/ACL injury suffered last November and has the option of a redshirt year if necessary. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson scored 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half and overtime, to hand Georgia an 84-74 overtime loss Saturday night at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
Georgia was led by sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell Pope, who picked up his 4th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
“That’s a tough loss,” said coach Mark Fox. “I am really proud of our team, proud of how they competed, how hard they played and how they laid it all out there. It’s a game that we should have won in regulation.
“I thought we played really, really hard. I thought we competed hard, I thought we were unselfish and I thought that we defended pretty well throughout the whole game. We just couldn’t keep them off the foul line and that’s so hard to overcome, but I was really pleased with a lot of things…We had a lot of guys play well and I thought our team played well we just didn’t finish the job.”
After leading nearly the entire second half, Ole Miss took a 66-64 lead with under three minutes remaining, eventually forcing the game into overtime after junior forward Donte’ Williams nearly ended the game with a tip-in as the buzzer sounded.
Georgia trailed early in the first half, down by as many as five but closed the half on a 15-4 run, holding the Rebels scoreless in the half’s final four minutes to take a 41-35 halftime lead.
The Rebels fought back in the second half, taking the lead 51-49 off of a Nick Williams jumper, but Georgia went on a 10-0 run to grab back the lead 59-51.
With just 3:36 remaining and the Dawgs up 64-56, the Rebels’ Henderson, who was limited to just 25 minutes in the game due to foul trouble, went on a 10-0 run to put Ole Miss 66-64, and eventually force the game to overtime.
Ole Miss outscored Georgia 14-4 in overtime, including six from the free throw stripe. In the game, Ole Miss went 30-for-36 from the free throw line, while Georgia shot 13-for-19. The game was physical from the start, with four players fouling out and 48 total fouls being called.
Georgia outrebounded the Rebels 45-30, and shot nearly 50 percent from the field. Ole Miss capitalized on points off turnovers, scoring 24 to Georgia’s 10.
• The starting line-up was V. Williams, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Florveus and D. Williams. They’re now 5-2.
• With the loss, Georgia is now 0-3 in overtime games.
• Georgia scored its 39th point with three minutes remaining in the first half off of a Kenny Gaines 3-pointer. In Tuesday’s loss, the Dawgs didn’t score its 39th point until the 3:20 mark in the second half.
• Georgia outrebounded Ole Miss, 45-30, and drops to 9-4 when outrebounding its opponent.
• Georgia had a 2-1 (10 assists, 5 turnovers) assist-to-turnover ratio in the first half, but finished the game with an even ration (18 assists, 18 turnovers).
• With his 19 points tonight, Caldwell-Pope has still scored in double figures in every game this season. He also picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 12 rebounds.
• Caldwell-Pope remains one of just 11 players in all of NCAA Division I that have scored in double figures in each of their team's games. He's the only SEC player to accomplish this feat and one of just five from the "BCS" leagues to do so.
• In Georgia basketball alumni news, former Georgia forward Travis Leslie was named MVP in the NBA D-League All-Star game. Leslie had 19 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes of play, leading the “Prospects” to a 139-125 over the “Futures.” Leslie was drafted with the 47th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He is currently a member of the Santa Cruz Warriors (affiliate of the Golden State Warriors). Leslie is averaging 16.2 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 21 games this season.
• Vincent Williams set a career high with seven assists (Previously… 6 vs. Jacksonville (11/9/12).
• Kenny Gaines set a career high with 13 points (Previously… 12 vs. Tennessee (2/6/13). Gaines has set a new career high in points three different times in February.
• Tim Dixon set a career high with three assists (Previously… 1 vs. Multiple)
The Series: Georgia still leads the all-time series 66-40, but Ole Miss now leads in Oxford, 25-24. Ole Miss’ victory marks the first time since 2009 in the series that the home team has won a game.
Next Up: Georgia travels to Fayetteville to play Arkansas on Thursday. The Razorbacks lead the all-time series 16-13, including 6-3 in Fayetteville. The Dawgs have won the previous three match-ups.