This is what I get for gloating. No sooner had I seen that the Bat Cats had lost than I thought to myself, "Thank goodness we won't have to face Kentucky in the second round!"
Then, alas, Georgia's game against Vanderbilt got underway.
It wasn't so bad at first, of course; in the top of the first frame, Mickey Westphal struck out three straight batters on nine consecutive pitches before the Diamond Dogs took a one-run lead on a Joey Side triple and a Gordon Beckham double in the bottom of the inning.
I know it's not football, but, still, come on . . . they're Vanderbilt.
It was in the second stanza that matters began to go awry. The Commodores' Dominic de la Osa began a good day at the plate (2 for 4, 3 runs) by reaching base on a fielding error and advancing on a wild pitch. The Vanderbilt left fielder scored an unearned run when Shea Robin clocked a base hit to left field.
Following a double play, consecutive singles by Alex Feinberg, Brad French, David Macias, and Pedro Alvarez gave the 'Dores a 3-1 lead over the Red and Black, who responded in the bottom of the second inning by manufacturing an unearned run of their own on a Vanderbilt fielding error, a Ryan Peisel double down the left field line, and a Matthew Dunn R.B.I. groundout.
Brian Hernandez laid down a bunt that turned the first pitch of the third frame into a base hit. De la Osa advanced the Vanderbilt catcher with a double, then Robin reached on a fielder's choice and a Ryan Davis single plated two more runs to give Vandy a 5-2 advantage.
I know it's not football, but, seriously, they're Vanderbilt!
The next inning and a half passed in relative quiet. Side, who went two for four and scored a run, hit a base hit to left field in the second half of the third, but that was all the Bulldogs had to show for their efforts through the conclusion of the fourth frame.
Another Vanderbilt outburst came in the top of the fifth frame, when Hernandez walked, de la Osa put down a bunt to advance the runner, and successive singles off of Stephen Dodson by Robin, Davis, and Feinberg made the score 8-2 at the halfway point. It was, as they say, not looking good for the (nominal) home team.
It was not until the bottom of the sixth stanza that it began to appear as though there was some fight in the Diamond Dogs. Josh Morris reached on a fielding error and Jason Jacobs walked, which set up the Matt Olson double that brought home a pair of runs and narrowed the gap to 8-4.
All right, quit kidding around, already! They're Vanderbilt!
The Commodores took it right back, though, when Hernandez led off the seventh inning with a double, took third base on a fielding error, and added an insurance run on a Robin sacrifice fly.
After that, it was all over but the shouting. Over the course of the final three frames, the Georgia offense produced an Olson base on balls and singles by Dunn and Bobby Felmy, but no runs. The contest ended with the Commodores leading the Bulldogs in hits (16-7) and runs (9-4).
Vanderbilt improved to 34-23, whereas the Diamond Dogs fell to 38-18 and faced the prospect of an elimination game against Kentucky bright and early tomorrow morning.