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Ending with a thud

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Diamond Dawgs falter at home in regionals for second year in a row

Georgia certainly had a different celebration in mind before the regionals began.
Kristin Bradshaw/UGA Sports Communications

There’s no way to sugarcoat it.

This weekend was a bad one for the Diamond Dawgs.

The final record will show that Georgia’s 46 wins was one of the best marks in school history. The 21-9 SEC record? The best in school history.

The other side of the season is this. For all the momentum and excitement built up, feeding off steam of motivation of last year’s disappointment in the regional round, this year brought an even more disappointing result as Florida State eliminated Georgia 10-1, one night after a 13-3 win.

A team that defined itself with strong pitching and even better defense to go with enough timely hitting to win baseball games suddenly could not none of those this weekend against a Florida State team, obviously playing with an emotional charge in Mike Martin’s final season.

College baseball’s postseason is about being at your best for three to four weeks. Georgia was not at this level in Athens and Florida State was.

The pitching of the past two nights was a microcosm of the weekend. Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox were straight-up overpowering during a good part of the season, but neither looked the part this weekend. Like Ryan Webb last night, Zac Kristofak struggled as well on Sunday.

Lack of offense did not help on Sunday - anytime you are 0-for-14 with runners aboard, it’s tough to generate much offense.

There are many bad times for a team to have its worst weekend of the season.

For Georgia, the timing could not have been much worse.

There’s little solace in it now, but Georgia returns a very good core next year. Time will tell via Monday’s MLB draft how many opt to stay in Athens.

Anyway...t-minus 90 days until kickoff against Vandy.

Post-Game Quotables

Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin

“It hurts really bad. I hurt for our players, our fans, our alumni, and all the people that support us. It is painful, but this is a resilient group. We will bounce back and we will have a lot of guys back. We will continue to be a great program, and that is what our goal was when I started here six years ago, which was to raise our expectation level, and we have done that. The expectation level in our program is very high and it hurts that we didn’t get to the next level with this group, but we will bounce back.”

Georgia pitcher Zac Kristofak

“We were feeling really good coming into here, and even last year we were feeling really good having Duke, Troy and Campbell, but you never know. It is baseball. If you don’t play your best in this tournament, you aren’t going to win, and we just found that out the hard way again.”

Florida State head coach Mike Martin

“To say I am happy is an understatement. I am happy for these three young men that are up here and I am happy for 24 other guys that poured their heart and soul into getting it done. I can’t say enough about the atmosphere in our dugout. The guys that were not playing... you could not find one single guy that you could say that he hasn’t played the entire tournament. That is the kind of men we have. We will battle you, we will compete and the guys up here know that the guys on the bench are pulling hard for them.”

*Quotes via UGA Sports Communications

Go Dawgs!