Sunday, March 13, 2011

Diamond Dawgs Finish Perfect Week


Georgia blanked Saint Mary’s 3-0 at Dodger Stadium to cap a perfect 5-0 week of baseball including winning the Dodgertown Classic.

The Dawgs posted road wins over 10th-ranked UCLA, USC and the Gaels along with Mercer in Macon and Alabama in Lawrenceville to even their record at 8-8 on the year. The Gaels dropped to 3-9. The Dawg pitching staff has logged 17 scoreless innings, the final eight over USC Saturday and nine more today.

Junior right fielder Chase Davidson gave the Dawgs a 1-0 lead when he led off the second inning by crushing the first pitch he saw from Kyle Barraclough over the centerfield wall for his second home run of the year. Georgia made it 2-0 in the third. Junior left fielder Peter Verdin began the frame with a double and took third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Conor Welton. Third baseman Curt Powell’s RBI-single scored Verdin. Georgia looked for a big inning as Levi Hyams followed with a base hit and Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Barraclough recovered to strikeout Davidson and got Jonathan Hester to pop out to keep it 2-0.

Dawg junior Craig Gullickson started and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, no walks and struck out four before giving way to junior Ben Cornwell. He pitched one inning and then senior John Herman came on to start the bottom of the seventh after the Dawgs added a run in the top of inning for a 3-0 advantage. Herman pitched one inning and Georgia looked to sophomore Patrick Boling in the eighth and Eric Swegman finished things up in the ninth. They combined to limit the Gaels to five hits on the afternoon. Gullickson evened his record to 1-1 while Barraclough fell to 0-3.

“We had a lot of different guys pitch well this week and that’s encouraging,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Our offense played well, however we’ve got do a better job with the bases loaded. We had a chance to break open a few of these games and we didn’t. However, some of our guys are not feeling great, there’s a stomach bug going around the club so we got to get healthy. Still, I was pleased with how we played on this trip and throughout the week. This team is playing very inspired right now and they want to win games for Johnathan Taylor, and they are doing just that.”

The Dawgs continue their road trip this week with a Wednesday game at Kennesaw State before Southeastern Conference action begins Friday against nationally-ranked South Carolina in Columbia. First pitch against the Owls is slated for 6:30 p.m.

Fundraising efforts have been established to help offset/cover any medically related expenses for injured University of Georgia junior outfielder Johnathan Taylor.

An account has been set up at First American Bank and Trust (FAB). Donations can be mailed to the following account or dropped off at any FAB location.

First American Bank and Trust, c/o Johnathan Taylor Fund, P.O. Box 1688, Athens, Ga., 30603.

Taylor, a 5-8, 181-pound native of Acworth, Ga., has been transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to continue his rehabilitation. He sustained a neck injury during last Sunday’s baseball game with Florida State. He underwent neck surgery to stabilize his spine on Monday at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The son of Tandra and John Taylor, he has appeared in 117 games in his career including 91 starts. A Consumer Economics major, he owns a .312 career batting average.

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