Just as the football team traveled out west to the desert to take on Arizona State this past fall, the Diamond Dogs packed their bags and headed to Tucson to take on Arizona this weekend. Georgia was out to a fast 5-0 start after back-to-back series sweeps of Youngstown State and Presbyterian. However, being this far from Athens and facing a Wildcats team that traditionally competes for the Pac 10 championship, the prospects of another sweep were not that high.
Game 1 - Georgia 11, Arizona 5
The Dawgs got another solid outing from #1 starter Trevor Holder and the offense took care of the rest as they opened the series with a victory on Friday night. Nine different batters had a hit, including Rich Poythress (2-5, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored) and Lyle Allen (2-4, HR, 2 RBI).
Game 2 - Georgia 12, Arizona 5
Georgia jumped out to a lead early by scoring 8 runs in the first 4 innings of the game. Joey Lewis had 5 hits including a solo homerun to lead the Bulldogs offense. Saturday's game also saw the return of CF Matt Cerione from suspension. Cerione had four hits including a two singles, a double, a triple, and 4 RBIs. Alex McCree improved his record to 2-0, giving up only 3 hits in 5 innings of work.
Game 3 - Georgia 10, Arizona 5
Freshman LF Jonathan Taylor continued his solid play with 3 hits and 3 runs scored. Through 8 games, Taylor is hitting an amazing .583 with 13 runs scored and 6 stolen bases. Matt Cerione and Pich Poythress also chipped in 3 hit days for the Dawgs. Michael Palazzone picked up his first career win with three innings of scoreless relief pitching.
Just how impressive was the Bulldogs' offense this weekend? Said Arizona head coach Andy Lopez, "I haven't seen (an offense) like that in a long, long time." And this is coming from a coach whose team was preseason #1 in 2008.
With the three-game sweep of Arizona, the Bulldogs improved their record to 8-0. This is their best start since beginning 8-0 during the 2000 season and second best start ever (they won 9 in a row to start the 1911 season). The Dawgs next take on Wofford and then Quinnipiac in a series in Athens this weekend.
This weekend was also good for former Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham. When I turned on the Dodgers-White Sox spring training game that was on MLB network yesterday, none other than Gordon Beckham was up to bat. The announcers were saying a lot of good things about Beckham, wearing the "rookie special" number 80. Beckham hit a solo homerun to left field, the first in Camelback Ranch history (the spring training home of the White Sox). Read more about the homerun here.