After being embarrassed by the Tribe on Friday and Saturday, the Diamond Dogs looked to salvage at least a few tattered shreds of dignity and hope in Sunday afternoon’s outing against Florida State in Tallahassee. Instead, the Classic City Canines were sent back to Athens with their tails between their legs as the home team completed the sweep in yet another dominant performance.
The game began by following a familiar pattern. The Red and Black were set down in order in the top of the first frame before the Seminoles leapt out to an early lead in the bottom of the inning. A Tyler Holt walk, a James Ramsey single, and a Peter Verdin error put two runners in scoring position and Stephen Cardullo brought them both home with a base hit.
Georgia responded in the visitors’ half of the second stanza when Christian Glisson drew a one-out walk and took second when Geoff Parker was charged with an error on a failed pickoff attempt. Zach Cone dropped a double into left field to score an unearned run. The Tribe then returned to the plate, where the Floridians turned three singles and two hit batsmen into three runs.
Chase Hawkins came on in relief of Michael Palazzone with one out away and the bases loaded. He surrendered a two-out base hit to Sherman Johnson that pushed two more runs across before the inning ended. Following a third canto in which neither club registered a hit, the Classic City Canines showed some signs of life in the top of the fourth frame.
A one-out single by Colby May and an ensuing double by Glisson put two Bulldogs in scoring position, allowing Robert Shipman to plate a pair of runs with a base hit to center field. An FSU error and consecutive bases on balls forced home another run to make the score 7-4. It did not stay that way for long.
An error and a balk in the bottom of the stanza enabled a Stuart Tapley single to bring in an unearned run, and, after the Diamond Dogs went three up and three down in the upper half of the fifth inning, Cecil Tanner took over the hurling duties in the home half of the frame just in time to see the dam broken wide open by the Seminoles. With two men out and three men on, the latest Georgia hurler threw the wild pitch that allowed Florida State to score another run.
Back-to-back walks forced home an additional run and a balk brought one more across before a single and a wild pitch scored three more in a weird one-hit, six-run inning. From there, it was merely a matter of playing out the string. Alex McRee walked the bases loaded to begin the bottom of the sixth stanza and the Seminoles turned that into a three-run inning. The Diamond Dogs returned the favor by drawing consecutive bases on balls to start the top of the seventh canto and using that pair of walks to generate a run. That marked the end of the scoring, so Florida State put a 17-5 victory into the books.
This series was wholly lacking in positive attributes for the Diamond Dogs. In three games in Tallahassee, the Red and Black were out-hit 38-21 and outscored 38-8. On Sunday, Michael Palazzone surrendered six earned runs in barely over an inning’s worth of work and the Georgia bullpen issued twelve---that’s right, a dozen---walks while carding a single---one; count it: one---strikeout. The first four hitters in the Bulldog batting order collectively went one for fifteen and struck out six times.
Damon Evans needs to place a call to FEMA. With the way University of Georgia athletics have been going for the last two years and two months, it’s high time Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall was declared a disaster area.