As noted in this space previously, it has been a busy day in Bulldog Nation, so much so that individual reports on every game, match, and meet are not practical to prepare. Consequently, I am wrapping matters up rapidly in this, the Saturday summary:
Let’s get this catastrophe out of the way as quickly as possible. Kentucky---which, with all due respect to the Wildcats, is a lousy baseball team---claimed a series victory over the Diamond Dogs on Saturday, compounding Friday’s embarrassing outcome with a 12-5 result on Saturday.
The Blue and White leapt out to a 7-0 lead and scored in five of the first six stanzas, while the Red and Black were shut out in five of the first six frames. The Bulldogs’ most reliable starter, Michael Palazzone, gave up 11 earned runs on 15 hits and never made it out of the sixth inning. No Bulldog batter who had more than one hit also had more than one RBI, and no Bulldog batter who had more than one RBI also had more than one hit.
This team is tanking when it should be peaking. The Classic City Canines’ spot in Hoover, once assured, is now in peril, and, at 25-26, Georgia has only a slim chance of being one game over .500 when the NCAA Tournament field is selected. Remember how the men’s basketball team was able to hang its hat on having no bad losses? Well, the baseball team now has three bad losses in a row, and has played its way out of contention against competition it ought to have dominated.
Oh, well. On to the good news:
Both sets of Bulldog netters claimed 4-0 victories to advance in their respective NCAA Tournament brackets. The Georgia women bested Marist in the first round, taking the doubles point and routing the Red Foxes with singles wins by Cameron Ellis (6-0, 6-0), Nadja Gilchrist (6-0, 6-1), and Lilly Kimbell (6-0, 6-0). At 2:00 tomorrow afternoon, the Red and Black ladies will face Alabama in the second round for a rematch of a regular season meeting won by the Athenians, 4-3.
The Georgia men earned their eighth straight trip to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tennis Championships by blanking Auburn. After claiming the doubles point, the Bulldogs built up a 2-0 lead in singles with Hernus Pieters’s 6-2, 6-1 triumph. Drake Bernstein’s 6-0, 6-4 win in his last match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex enabled Ignacio Taboada to clinch the victory with a 6-3, 6-4 win. Next up for Georgia is a showdown with an ACC squad in Stanford, Calif., at noon on Thursday.
Look, I’ll let you visit meet central to find out the results of the various events. What seems to me to be the big story of the SEC Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships is the fact that the Georgia Sports Medicine staff saved a guy’s life. So we’ve got that going for us.
The SEC Softball Tournament championship game is almost upon us, so join in the all-day all-sports comment thread here while you watch the game on ESPN.