Concerns for Georgia baseball after sweep by South Carolina

Credit: Kari Hodges

Credit: Kari Hodges

ATHENS – It was a tough weekend for the Georgia Bulldogs, those who play baseball in particular.

The Diamond Dogs (13-7, 0-3 SEC) were swept by No. 14 South Carolina in the opening SEC series of the season, getting run-ruled in the final two games in the process. Meanwhile, the Lady Dogs’ women’s basketball team was ousted from the NCAA Tournament by Iowa in a highly-competitive second-round game.

It wasn’t all doom-and-gloom for teams wearing the “G.” Georgia softball completed a sweep of Texas A&M with an 8-0 win over at Jack Turner Stadium and the No. 6-ranked women’s tennis team prevailed over eighth-ranked Auburn 5-2 over at the Dan Magill Complex. That followed the 10th-ranked men’s team’s grinding 4-3 win over No. 18 Tennessee on Saturday. And Georgia’s softball team recorded their first road sweep in an SEC series this weekend against Texas A&M.

But all that goodness could not overshadow the badness on display at Foley Field over the weekend.

It started off well enough. The Bulldogs carried a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning against the Gamecocks in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, which had to be played due to a Friday-night rainout. But South Carolina rallied to plate two runs, and Georgia couldn’t match in its half, even after getting a lead-off double to start the inning.

The Bulldogs seemed to carry those doldrums into Saturday’s second game. They were run-ruled, 12-2, through seven innings. Sunday brought more of the same as Georgia was run-ruled again, this time 12-1 in the seventh inning.

“We’ve got to turn the page as quick as possible; we can’t let it linger,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “We did not play very well this weekend. Certainly South Carolina did. They had a lot to do with it. Their starting rotation is as good as you’ll see. But the bottom line is we’ve got to turn the page and move on.”

Indeed, the next two weekends will take the Bulldogs to Auburn and Vanderbilt. The fifth-ranked Commodores are one of seven teams currently ranked ahead of South Carolina. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also have to play Georgia State at Coolray Field on Tuesday and Georgia Southern in Athens a week after that.

That’ll be nine games in 11 days.

“We’ve got to rely on our upperclassmen,” Stricklin said of the challenge going forward. “We’ve got to come out and be a different team on Tuesday, be the team that we’re capable of being and be the team that we’ve been.”

Georgia women’s basketball, in its first season under coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, had its hands full playing No. 2-seeded Iowa on its home court in the second round. But they were in position to advance to Sweet 16 before giving up the last six points of the game in a 74-66 final.

The Bulldogs returned Athens with a 22-12 record and ready to rebuild.

“The Georgia brand is there,” Coach Abe said. “I’m just really, really proud of them, to do this this year with 15 brand-new players and our coaching staff. That’s why I keep saying that Georgia is here today.”