Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poythress Named National Hitter Of The Week

Junior first baseman Rich Poythress has been named the Pro-Line Athletic/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Hitter of the Week, according to an announcement today by the NCBWA.

The top-ranked Diamond Dawgs scored four runs in the third and held off No. 22 Clemson, 6-5, this evening at Foley Field. Georgia improved to 23-3 and won for the ninth time in 10 games while Clemson dropped to 18-8.

The Dawgs and Tigers will play again tomorrow at Clemson at 7 p.m. on CSS. LSU visits Foley Field for a three-game series beginning Friday.

The football team practiced for an hour and a half in shorts and shoulder pads in the rain this afternoon.

"We mostly tried to correct mistakes we made during the scrimmage Monday and I thought we did a pretty good job considering how short today was," said head coach Mark Richt.

The Bulldogs did suffer an injury on Monday as defensive end Jeremy Longo went down with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the rest of the spring. This leaves Georgia with only two healthy defensive ends on scholarship ­Kiante Tripp and Justin Houston. The coaching staff also decided to move a pair of walk-ons from their positions to fill in at defensive end because of the injury situation.

"When June arrives and we've got 20 or so guys returning from injury and about that same number coming in as freshmen, I might be the happiest guy in America," Richt said. "I felt better about the scrimmage after I watched the film than when I was walking off the field (Monday)," said Richt, adding that he could not remember any another time when he had a team at Georgia have five practices in one week during the spring.

"A couple things I pulled from the scrimmage was that Geno (Atkins) is a dominant football player right now and I don't know if anyone can block him. I also noticed Nick Williams is still learning his position, but I like the fact that he tries to run right through people."

Tuesday's practice was actually a make-up practice after Friday's workout last week was rained out. The Bulldogs have practice again on Wednesday and Friday before participating in their final scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning.

The women’s tennis team maintained its number two spot in the latest Campbell/ITA Top 25 Rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association today.

The Bulldogs are 15-2 overall and lead the Southeastern Conference with a 5-1 mark in league play. Up next, Georgia will go on the road against No. 29 Auburn Friday and then No. 25 Alabama Sunday.

Georgia Lady Bulldog signee Jasmine Hassell, a 6-2, forward from Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, Tenn., will take part in the two premier girls' basketball high school All-America games this week.

Hassell, Tennessee's Miss Basketball for Class AAA as both a junior and a senior, will play in the McDonald's All-America game in Miami on Wednesday before traveling to St. Louis for the WBCA's contest on Saturday.

Wednesday's McDonald's contest will be televised live on ESPNU at 5:30 p.m. The WBCA event is being held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recruit Has Surgery

Austin Long, the offensive tackle from Memphis had surgery this morning to repair damage to his lower back. He will be sidelined at least six months and will be redshirted this year.

The Georgia Bulldogs continued spring football practice on Monday with a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

Senior Joe Cox connected on 9-of-13 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown,while freshman Aaron Murray went 4-of-6 for 131 yards and a score. Sophomore A.J. Green had five catches for 65 yards, while junior Marquise Brown hauled in three passes for 24 yards. Seniors Vernon Spellman and Michael Moore caught touchdown passes, with Spellman's covering 75 yards.

Junior Kalvin Daniels led the rushing attack with 45 yards on nine attempts and two touchdowns. Sophomore Caleb King had 32 yards on six carries, freshman Carlton Thomas had 26 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, and junior Shaun Chapas had two short-yardage touchdowns.

Kicker Blair Walsh booted a 47-yard field goal.

Sophomore linebacker Nick Williams and sophomore cornerback Brandon Boykin led the defense with six tackles each. Freshman defensive backs Sanders Commings and Bacarri Rambo each picked off passes, while senior tackle Geno Atkins had three sacks.

Junior first baseman Rich Poythress has been named SEC player of the Week and a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after leading the Bulldogs to their second straight SEC sweep and their first series win at Tennessee since 2001.

Poythress hit .615 (8-for-13) with five home runs and 12 RBI in four games last week. In Tuesday's game against Wright State, he hit a two-run home run in the first inning, then had his first career multi-home run game along with two doubles and two walks for a career-high 12 total bases against Tennessee on Friday. He followed that with another two-home run game on Saturday and tied his career high with five RBI. In his first nine plate appearances against the Vols, Poythress was 6-for-6 with four home runs, two doubles and three walks.

The Grovetown, Ga., native is now ranked in the top three in the SEC in nine offensive categories including first in batting average (.447), on-base percentage (.556) and RBI (47); second in slugging percentage (.936), runs (37), home runs (13) and total bases (88); and third in hits (42) and walks (22).

Poythress is currently eighth all-time at UGA with a .357 career batting average. His 31 career home runs is one shy of 10th all-time, his 146 RBI is four shy of 10th, and his 38 career doubles is nine shy of 10th all-time.

Poythress and the Diamond Dawgs play host to Clemson Tuesday at 7 p.m. before paying the Tigers a visit on Wednesday. LSU visits Athens for a three-game series beginning Friday.

The second-ranked women’s tennis team breezed to a 6-1 win over 23rd-ranked Arkansas here Sunday to seize control of the Southeastern Conference race.

Both teams entered Sunday’s match leading their respective divisions at 4-1 in conference play. Now every team in the league except Georgia has at least two SEC losses. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 15-2 overall while the Razorbacks fell to 9-5. Also, Georgia is now 9-0 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex this season.

The third-ranked men’s tennis team blanked Arkansas 7-0 at the Dills Indoor Stadium here Sunday. Georgia captured the doubles point and swept the six singles matches to improve to 16-2 overall and 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference. The 46th-ranked Razorbacks fell to 9-9, 1-5 SEC.

Swimmers Troyden Prinsloo and Neil Versfeld won national championships, with Versfeld swimming the fastest 200 breaststroke in history, and Mark Dylla finished as an event runner-up for the Bulldogs on the final day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at the Student Recreation Center Natatorium at Texas A&M.

Behind those efforts, Georgia finished the meet with 131 points and finished in the top 10 by placing 10th overall. Auburn went on to win the overall team championship, while Texas and Stanford finished second and third, respectively.

The track and field teams tallied two more win and added seven more NCAA regional qualifying marks during a late finish at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday.

The No. 8-ranked women's golf team fired a 317 in the first -- and final -- round of the 37th annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the UGA Golf Course on Sunday. The Bulldogs tied for sixth, six shots off the pace of No. 6 Auburn.

Seventh-ranked Georgia completed a three-game, Southeastern Conference series sweep of Kentucky with a pair of wins on Sunday, 10-0 and 5-2, at the UGA Softball Stadium.

Christie Hamilton has been named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for softball according to an announcement made by the league today.

Hamilton, a native of Acworth, Ga., made three appearances for the Bulldogs last week and went 3-0 including two complete games. In 17.0 innings pitched, she compiled a 1.24 ERA with 16 strikeouts.

With the two wins, Georgia improved to 24-4 overall and 7-2 in SEC action, and the Bulldogs have won nine straight contests. Kentucky fell to 22-11 overall and 5-7 in league play.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Diamond Dawgs Beat Tennessee

Top-ranked Georgia hit a season-high four home runs and seven doubles including four extra base hits by Rich Poythress as the Bulldogs cruised past Tennessee, 12-6, Friday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Poythress hit two home runs for the second straight game and Georgia clinched its first series win at Tennessee since 2001 with an 11-9 victory over the Vols Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Poythress, who went 4-for-4 with two home runs and two doubles on Friday, went 2-3 Saturday with two homers, two walks, five RBI and three runs. He has five home runs in the last three games and has hit safely in the last 14 games. The Grovetown, Ga., native is batting .462 this season and has 13 home runs and 46 RBI. In 10 plate appearances against Tennessee this weekend, Poythress has four home runs, two doubles and three walks. He has reached in 13 of his last 15 plate appearances with five home runs and 13 RBI.

The third-ranked Georgia mens tennis team extended its home winning streak to 57 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex with a 5-2 win over LSU Friday. Georgia (15-2, 4-1 SEC) claimed the doubles point for a 1-0 lead over the 31st-ranked Tigers (6-7,1-4 SEC) and then won four singles matches. Georgia is now 13-0 after winning the doubles point this season.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rainy Day In Athens

Due to bad weather in the Athens area and more expected later in the day, practice for today has been cancelled. There has not yet been any word of making up the practice at a later date. The next practice is scheduled for Monday, March 30.

Top-ranked Georgia won all four events and posted a convincing 16-3 victory over Tennessee-Martin amid rainy, sloppy conditions at the Georgia Equestrian Center on this afternoon.

Second-ranked Lady Dawgs Tennis Team notched an impressive 4-2 road win over 21st-ranked LSU Friday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another New Dawg Today

Junior college kicker Brandon Bogotay has signed a letter of intent with the University of Georgia football team according to an announcement Thursday by Bulldog head coach Mark Richt.

Bogotay, a native of San Diego, Calif., competed as a freshman at Grossmont College (El Cajon, Calif.) in 2008 and was named to the Southern Conference's All-Conference First Team. He finished 15-of-23 on field goals, including a long kick of 52 yards, and was listed at the No. 3 spot on the California Community College Athletic Association's list for most points scored kicking last season with 72.

"We're excited to have Brandon joining our 2009 signing class and look forward to him competing on our kickoff, field goal, and extra point teams,"said Richt. Bogotay, who did not play football while attending Patrick Henry High School, was named his junior college conference's Special Teams/All-Purpose Player of the Week on Oct. 13, 2008, after connecting on all four of his field goal attempts as well as all three extra points.

The addition of Bogotay gives the Bulldogs 20 signees who are already enrolled at Georgia or who will be arriving in the summer to join their teammates.

The University of Georgia football team has almost reached the halfway point of spring practice, and Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is encouraged by what he has seen.

“We ran well during practice, we pursued as a unit, I liked the way we looked today,” said Richt. (Brandon) Boykin had a couple of picks, and Joe Cox looked good.

I’d say the most dominating player to this point has been Geno (Atkins). He’s tough to handle. Geno has had his way with just about everybody.”Richt added that the offensive line picked up some tough blitzes on Thursday and said some of the highlights included a nice throw and catch from Joe Cox to Tavarres King and some runs by Caleb King during the inside drills and 11-on-11 sessions.

“We want to see how they put it all together Friday,” said Richt. “We’re going start finding out who is ready to play, who is ready to start, who is going to lead for Georgia. We’d like to see the offensive and defensive units have that continuity that you’re looking for. I see a group of guys who want to do it. I’ve seen a team so far that’s not just coach-driven. They want to do it themselves too, and that’s super important.”

Former Georgia coach Ron Polk is among 10 players and coaches named to the 2009 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class, it was announced Wednesday.

Polk spent two seasons as Georgia’s head coach from 2000-01 and led the Bulldogs to a 79-48 record, the 2001 SEC title—UGA’s first since 1954--and an appearance in the College World Series. He is one of only three coaches to lead three different schools to the College World Series—Georgia, Georgia Southern and Mississippi State. Polk concluded his 35-year career as head coach last year at Mississippi State and is now serving as a volunteer assistant at UAB.

After closing out a four-game homestand, the top-ranked Diamond Dawgs will travel to Tennessee for a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m.

Georgia began its 122nd baseball season this year, and the Bulldogs are three wins shy of the 2,000th win in program history. Baseball at UGA dates back to 1886 and it is the oldest sport on campus. Georgia’s all-time record is 1,997-1,471-23, and throughout history the Bulldogs have six SEC championships, six College World Series appearances, three in the last five years, and one national title.

The second-ranked Georgia women's tennis team will be back in action Friday at #21 LSU before returning home Sunday against #23 Arkansas at 1 p.m.

The Bulldogs (13-2, 3-1 SEC) have faced 13 consecutive ranked teams including six in the top 10. The only blemishes for Georgia have been against top-ranked Northwestern in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoors (Feb. 16 in Madison, Wis.) and to No. 23 Florida (March 13 in Gainesville as the Gators have only lost one home SEC match ever -- to Georgia in 2002).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Practice Resumes

The Georgia Bulldogs resumed spring football practice on Tuesday, working out in full pads for about 90 minutes on the Woodruff Practice Fields.

"Today was kind of lukewarm," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "It wasn't bad, but it was not at the championship level. The energy level was not quite what we've seen, but we've got the rest of the week to get back on track in that regard. The guys have got to fight through. They've got to practice at a level that will make us a great team."

Richt was very pleased with the play of the linebackers thus far this spring and was glad to see that Brian Evans has found a home at free safety.

Richt said two of Evans' fellow defensive backs, Prince Miller and Reshad Jones, had interceptions on Tuesday. Defensive lineman Geno Atkins also picked off a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. Said Richt with a laugh, "It was only five or six yards, but he took it to the house."

Fresh off a three-game sweep of No. 25 Mississippi State, the Georgia baseball team was ranked No. 1 in two polls released Monday. It may not last long, Wright State scored six unearned runs in the fourth inning and went on to defeat the Diamond Dawgs, 8-5, today at Foley Field.

Georgia (19-3) had its five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in 15 home games this season.

The Georgia gymnastics team will be returning to Raleigh, N.C., for its NCAA Regional competition.

The Gym Dawgs, who finished No. 1 in the final Gym Info rankings released on Monday, were placed in the Southeast Regional, which will be held on Saturday, April 4, at 6 p.m.

Joining Georgia in the Regional will be No. 12 Penn State, No. 13 Nebraska, No. 21 West Virginia, No. 29 North Carolina State and No. 30 North Carolina. The Gym Dawgs defeated North Carolina State in Raleigh on Jan. 30.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweep Sunday

Fourth-ranked Georgia scored seven times in the eighth to erase a two-run deficit and completed a sweep of No. 25 Mississippi State with a 10-6 win in front on 3,689 fans Sunday at Foley Field.

Georgia (19-2, 4-2 SEC) won its fifth straight game and improved to 14-0 at home. The Bulldogs earned their first sweep over Mississippi State (13-9, 2-4 SEC) since 2004.

The ninth-ranked Georgia softball team completed a three-game, Southeastern Conference sweep over South Carolina with a 6-0 victory on Sunday at Beckham Field.

Georgia improved to 20-4 overall on the year and 4-2 in SEC play, while South Carolina fell to 13-13 and 1-11 in league action. The victory completed a three-game series sweep for the Bulldogs over the Gamecocks. For the series, Georgia outscored South Carolina 20-1.

The hiring of a new basketball coach may be sooner than expected, Anthony Grant spent 10 years at Florida and is currently at Virginia Commonwealth. He saw his team knocked out of the NCAA tournament Thursday evening by UCLA and will now field offers from UGA, Alabama, Virginia and maybe even Kentucky.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Puppy Today

The first member of the 2010 litter is Jalen Fields a 250 pound defensive end from Dalton, Georgia. Fields has been a life long Dawg fan and the opportunity to wear the Red & Black was too much for him to pass up, he gave his verbal commitment to Coach Mark Richt while attending this weekend's Junior Day.

Redshirt freshman tailback Carlton Thomas provided one of the day’s highlights with a long touchdown run that excited his teammates, which they later shared with the media after practice.“I was on the other side of the field, and I heard the crowd go crazy, and I looked over and saw him running down the sideline,” said senior quarterback Joe Cox. “I’m looking forward to see what he can do for us.”

Cox added that he thought the team had a good day with a lot of intensity for the first day in pads.

The top-ranked Georgia men's golf team won the Linger Longer Invitational on Saturday by two shots over No. 2 Oklahoma State.

Georgia's Courtney Kupets won the all-around title and was named the SEC Gymnast of the Year, Suzanne Yoculan was named Coach of the Year, and the top-ranked Gym Dogs came in second in the SEC Championship on Saturday in front of 5,045 fans at the Sommet Center.

The Gym Dogs had a total of 196.925 to finish as the runner-up to Alabama, which notched a 197.3. Georgia, which lost for the first time this season, slipped to 17-1.

"We did enough to win on three events, but we didn't do enough on beam," said Yoculan, who garnered SEC Coach of the Year honors for the eighth time in her career. "You can't make the mistakes we made on beam and get into that kind of hole and get out of it in a championship event. You make mistakes like that and you pay the price. The good news is that we showed a lot of fight and a lot of fortitude the rest of the meet, and I am sure we can come back stronger at the NCAAs. We're not done yet, that's for sure."

Joey Lewis and Lyle Allen homered and Georgia pitchers combined to throw their fourth shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over in Mississippi State Saturday in front of 4,461 fans, the largest crowd in Foley Field history.

The Diamond Dawgs improved to 18-2 overall, 3-2 in league play and 13-0 at Foley Field, its best home start in school history. The 2006 team won its first 12 home games.

The ninth-ranked Georgia softball team posted a pair of Southeastern Conference wins on Saturday by defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks, 4-1 and 10-0, at Beckham Field. Georgia improved to 19-4 overall and 3-2 in SEC action with the two wins, while South Carolina fell to 13-12 overall and 1-10 in league play.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pro Day In Athens

Georgia's annual Pro Day gave personnel from all 32 NFL teams an opportunity to see a number of former Dawgs workout.

Matthew Stafford had an impressive day completing 90% of his attempts, he had declined to throw the ball at the recently completed NFL Combine so it was the first time that most had seen his arm strength in person. Detroit has the first pick and will have the opportunity to see him once more in a private session before making their decision.

Knowshon Moreno is expected to be a top ten pick and although his fastest time in the 40 was clocked at 4.58 seconds, with his strength, moves and hustle that is plenty fast enough. If the draft were held strictly on heart and desire, he would be the top pick.

The biggest mover of the day was Asher Allen who improved his 40 time to 4.33 and may have just climbed back into a first day pick.

Yes the Falcons need a DB and they are interested.

Kenneth Harris, Mohamed Massaquoi and Demiko Goodman had been working out with Stafford since last Friday and each turned in impressive showings, Goodman ran a 4.35 40 then jumped 10 feet 9 inches to win the broad jump.

Dannell Ellerbe, Corvey Irvin, CJ Byrd, Jarius Wynn, Ramarcus Brown and Jeremy Lomax represented the Dawg Defense and performed well, Ellerbe ran a 4.6 40 with a broken toe, while Irvin out distanced everyone on the bench press.

Former quarterback Blake Barnes, tightend Coleman Watson and punter Brian Mimbs also participated.

Elsewhere on campus today, the third-ranked Georgia women’s tennis team registered a 6-1 victory over sixth-ranked Georgia Tech in front of a season-high crowd of 566 at the Dan Magill Complex. Georgia improved to 13-2 on the year and now holds a commanding 18-3 edge in the series history with the Yellow Jackets (8-5).

The Mens Golf Team and the Gym Dawgs remain ranked number 1 in their respective sports while the Diamond Dawgs have slipped slightly to number 4, all are in action this weekend.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Practice - Day 2

Following Wednesday's session, head coach Mark Richt was pleased with his team's performance this early in the spring.

"We had an outstanding practice today," Richt said. "There were some things from (Tuesday) that we talked about in the coaches meetings and to the team and I think we corrected all of them for the most part. The defense was leading us with their effort and enthusiasm and as a whole, I though we gotbetter today."

Fifth year senior Joe Cox is firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback, the competition will be for the number two spot on the depth chart. Sophomore Logan Gray will devote all of his time this spring to playing quarterback and at this stage is far ahead of incoming freshmen Aaron Murray and Zack Mettenberger. Coach Mike Bobo has stated that the decision to redshirt one or both of the freshmen will be based on how prepared they are by September and not on getting class seperation between them.

While the Bulldogs do not have a practice scheduled for Thursday, Georgia will be hosting its annual NFL Pro Day, which gives the seniors from the previous season and any underclassmen who declared early a chance to work-out for scouts, coaches and administrators from NFL teams. Richt said the workouts were not mandatory for his current team to attend, but he did encourage his players to come and watch. "This is one of, if not the, biggest Pro Days we have had since 2000 so I told our current players to stop by at some point to see what it's like for these former players to basically have a job interview for what they consider the job of a lifetime," said Richt.

Prior to Wednesday's practice, former NFL head coach Tony Dungy held a joint press conference with Richt as they announced the expansion of the national fatherhood program, All Pro Dad, into collegiate football. Dungy then addressed the team for 30 minutes before the Bulldogs' second practice ofthe spring. "I can't tell you how many hours we spend trying to find ways to help our guys enrich their lives," said Richt. "We are thrilled to have (Coach Dungy) here with us and I think it is always beneficial to have someone here who is dead serious about helping our players grow into being great fathers."

Dungy was also excited to involve Georgia in the All Pro Dad program. "We thought UGA was a great place to start because I know what kind of man (Coach Richt) is and what kind of heart he has so I think this is a perfect fit," Dungy said.

In other Dawg related news, sophomores Alisa Goler and Brianna Hesson each hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to lead ninth-ranked Georgia softball past Kennesaw State, 5-2, this afternoon at the UGA Softball Stadium. Up next, Georgia travels to Columbia, S.C., this weekend for a three-game Southeastern Conference series against South Carolina.

Each Georgia starter had at least one hit and the fourth-ranked Diamond Dawgs scored runs in five of the first six innings in an 11-6 win over Georgia State Wednesday in Atlanta. Georgia plays host to Mississippi State in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. The games on Friday and Sunday will be televised by CSS.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Practice Gets Underway

How long has it been since the Georgia Bulldogs made it from the bowl game to the opening of spring practice without an off the field incident or an arrest? The closest that Coach Richt's team has come to creating a distracting headline occurred last Friday with the release of ECI linebacker and 2009 signee Dexter Moody from his national letter of intent due to a "behavioral" problem that occurred at school. The seniors, as well as the coaching staff, have made it perfectly clear that an error in judgement will not be taken lightly and it appears that the heightened awareness is paying off.

Coach Richt said overall he was pleased with the first day even though more than 20 players were still in green jerseys as they recover from last seasons injuries or off season surgeries.

“You can see the difference between the veterans who know what to do, they understand the system, the technique and are in good shape, guys like Michael Moore and Prince Miller for example,” said Richt. “Then you look at like the true freshman quarterbacks, I watched them a lot, and you can see they are talented, they can throw. However it’s not easy to pick things up in meetings or off the board and then take that out to practice and hit your targets.”

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours in shorts for their first non-contact workout of the spring and will do so again on Wednesday and Friday. The first practice in full pads is slated for Saturday.

We will look at each position over the next three weeks leading up to the annual G-Day game at Sanford Stadium. This year’s game will be on Saturday, April 11 at 1:05 p.m. and be televised by ESPN. Admission is free.

The question we can't answer, will anyone miss the opening game at Oklahoma State due to a suspension? We may not know that answer until September the 5th.