Monday, April 4, 2011

Diamond Dawgs Ranked 30th


With one of the nation’s toughest schedules and nine wins over ranked opponents, Georgia made its debut at No. 30 in the weekly Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s Top 30 poll Monday. Also, junior Tyler Maloof has been named the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, the league announced.

The Dawgs completed a three-game Southeastern Conference series sweep of No. 24 Mississippi State this past weekend to even their record at 14-14 including 6-3 in the SEC. Currently in the rugged Eastern Division, they are one game behind No. 2 Vanderbilt (26-3, 7-2 SEC), No. 3 South Carolina (22-5, 7-2 SEC) and No. 4 Florida (24-5, 7-2 SEC).

Eighteen of Georgia’s games this season has come against ranked teams, and the Dawgs are 9-9 in those contests. That’s the most games versus Top 25 teams and the most wins of any team in the SEC. Up next, Georgia plays host to Charleston Southern in a two-game set starting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, Maloof leads the nation with 11 saves and is 11-for-11 in save opportunities this year. A 6-1, 185-pound native of Winder, Georgia, he is in his first season as the closer.

He registered three saves in helping Georgia post its first SEC sweep since 2009. In three appearances versus #24 MSU, he tossed 2.1 innings, did not allow any hits, runs or walks and struck out one.

In Friday’s win, he came on in the 9th with two on and nobody out in a 4-1 game and got a fielder’s choice and double play to get a save. On Saturday, Maloof came on in the 9th with a runner at second and two out in a 4-3 game, and he struck out Adam Frazier for the save. Then on Sunday, he pitched the 9th in a 4-1 game, retiring three straight hitters to get a save and clinch the sweep.

Maloof is the second Dawg pitcher to be honored by the SEC this season, joining Alex Wood who got it on March 14. This week, Maloof shares the SEC pitching award with Florida’s Hudson Randall who fired a four-hit shutout of Tennessee on 74 pitches.

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