Saturday, April 4, 2009

Diamond Dawgs Beaten By LSU

LSU hit a trio of home runs in the first three innings including a three-run blast by Ryan Schimpf as the fifth-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Georgia, 8-4, in front of 4,009 fans Friday at Foley Field, the sixth largest crowd in stadium history.

Georgia dropped to 24-4 overall and 7-3 in league play and had its seven-game SEC winning streak snapped while LSU improved to 22-7 and 7-3 in conference action.

“We just didn’t play well on any front,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “Offensively our guys just didn’t do it even though (Bryce) Massanari ended up with a good night. We didn’t make anything come our way and you could feel it coming with all the hype. I really appreciate the fans coming out and I’m apologetic we didn’t play as well as we could have.”

The Diamond Dawgs will try to even the series in game two Saturday at 1 p.m. Alex McRee (2-0, 1.80) will start for UGA while LSU will counter with Louis Coleman (6-1, 1.23).

The second-ranked Georgia women's tennis team picked up a 5-2 road victory over 29th-ranked Auburn here Friday.

Junior Naoko Ueshima won her 18th straight match to clinch the victory for the Bulldogs who improved to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Ueshima has clinched a team-best six matches this season.

The Tigers fell to 11-7 overall, 3-3 in the SEC.

The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team registered a 5-2 win over 27th-ranked Auburn Friday in front of a season-high crowd of 539 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

With the latest victory, the Bulldogs (17-2, 6-1 SEC) extended their home winning streak to 58 matches. Also, sophomore Javier Garrapiz won his 16th straight match, and it clinched the win, posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision over Tim Puetz at No. 2. He is now 28-6 on the year.

The Tigers dropped to 10-7 overall and 3-4 in the SEC.

The Dawgs held a 90-minute practice in shoulder pads and shorts on Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday morning's closed scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

"We want them to have a lot of juice in the morning," head coach Mark Richt said. "The temperatures should be in the mid-40s or mid-50s and it is supposed to be sunny. I think the guys should be in the right frame of mind to have a good scrimmage."

On Friday, the Dawgs spent approximately half their practice focusing on the kicking game, with the remainder including work on fundamentals and pass skeleton.

"Joe Cox was very, very accurate," Richt said. "When he throws it, he hits them and he hits them on the run. One thing that was disappointing was the defense's inability to intercept the ball. We had four balls that hit defenders in the hands, and we didn't hold on to one of them. In the last scrimmage, I think we had two interceptions that we fumbled back away. Ball security is something that defensive players have to work on, too. Hopefully, they'll spend some time in the offseason concentrating on that because it is certainly something you can improve."

Richt also announced the format for next Saturday's G-Day game.

"We are going to play four eight or 10-minute quarters with a regular game clock," Richt said.

"It will be Red vs. Black. One team will be wearing white jerseys but that is the Black team. We won't kick off. We're researching where the average field position was after kickoffs, and we'll place the ball there. We'll punt, but it won't be live. We'll have extra point and field goal attempts. And it will be on national television."

ESPN will air the contest live.

"I hope we look like a bunch of guys who play hard and compete," Richt said."I'm looking for that as a team thing more than individually. I want the nation to see us play hard and compete and have fun doing it. That's what I want to see every day in practice."

There will be no admission fee charged and Sanford Stadium gates will open at 10:30 a.m. Gates utilized for the public on April 11 will be the maingate under the Sanford Drive bridge as well as gates 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9.

In lieu of an admission fee, fans are encouraged to bring food donations. Among the items most needed are soups, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, rice, pasta and pop-top canned goods. Those items will be donated to the Northeast Georgia Food Bank, where the football staff and their families recently volunteered.

"My job was to check the expiration date on items," Richt said. "It was amazing how much food we could not use and just had to throw away. I'd like to encourage folks to not only bring food but also check to make sure it's food that can be used and isn't wasted."

Earlier on Monday, Richt met new Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox.

"We were in an academic meeting as a staff, and we stopped when we had the chance to meet Coach Fox," Richt said. "I was able to attend his press conference, too. You can tell he's very intelligent. You can tell he's someone who communicates well. You can tell he's someone who understands (building a program) is a process. I think he'll do a very nice job."

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