ATHENS — It was a busy weekend in the Classic City, and a fairly successful one, too. In case you missed any of it, here’s a recap:
1. The Georgia baseball team got its season off to a good start by winning two of three over Georgia Southern at home at Foley Field. And it wasn’t just that they won the series. It was how they won it.
Robert Tyler, Georgia’s ace right-hander, was limited to just 23.2 innings last year due to an arm injury. All he did in his first start on Friday was strike out 13 batters in five innings and give up one hit in the Bulldogs’ 5-1 victory. Obviously that bodes very, very well for the rest of the year and had to be a relief for everybody to see.
“That’s how we drew it up. We came into this and said five (innings), hope for six,” coach Scott Stricklin told reporters after the game. “If he had had a couple of quick innings he would have gone for six, but when you strike out that many you’re going to have a high pitch count. He had command from the first pitch on.”
Georgia lost Game 2 in extra innings on two-run homer in the 10th inning. But again, a strong showing over 6.2 innings by Heath Holder, coming back from Tommy John surgery, was encouraging. And the Bulldogs rebounded nicely with a 5-1 victory behind freshman starter Kevin Smith on Sunday.
What’s more, Georgia did it all without star center fielder Stephen Wrenn, who suffered an undisclosed injury in the final scrimmage before the opener. He’s supposed to be back this week.
The Bulldogs (2-1) are at Mercer on Tuesday, then play host to Cincinnati, South Alabama and Western Kentucky in the Bulldog Invitational this weekend.
— Chris Gilmore (@chrisgilmore00) February 20, 2016
2. Georgia’s women’s basketball team also scored an impressive victory over the weekend. The Lady Bulldogs (20-7, 8-6 SEC) defeated No. 22 Florida 74-63 on Senior Day at Stegeman Coliseum.
The win gave Georgia a series sweep over Florida and represented the best game of senior Tiaria Griffin’s career. She posted a career highs 28 points, had eight rebounds and made six 3-pointers in a row.
But that wasn’t the important thing. It assures the Bulldogs of at least a .500 record in league play and likely locked up an NCAA tournament bid. They play host to Arkansas (11-16, 6-8) on Thursday, then close out the season Sunday at Tennessee (16-11, 7-7).
3. Georgia’s men’s hoops team is facing an entirely different situation after falling to Vanderbilt 80-67 this past weekend. The Bulldogs actually got to within four points of the Commodores in the second half despite a poor shooting day from the field and foul line.
The loss has left Georgia in a real tight spot as far as postseason play. It essentially needs to win its last four games, starting with Wednesday night’s trip to Auburn (10-16, 4-10 SEC) and finishing with games at home versus Ole Miss (17-10, 7-7), on the road at South Carolina (22-5, 9-5) and at home against Alabama (16-10, 7-7).
The Bulldogs simply have to get better play out of their two senior guards, Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann. Both were scoreless at the half at Vandy and they finished with five points apiece.
4. Georgia’s gymnastics team hosted No. 1-ranked Oklahoma and, despite having to count a fall on beam, actually hung with the Sooners before losing 197.375 t0 196.750. It gets no easier for the Gym Dogs (4-4, 4-1 SEC) as their last four meets are Friday at Alabama, then home versus Auburn, on the road at UCLA (with Stanford) and at Utah.
5. The No. 10-ranked Georgia softball team used perfection to stay perfect on the season. Senior pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson threw a perfect game in five innings to lead the Bulldogs (9-0) to a 10-0 win over UAB in the Disney Citrus Class in Orlando.
It’s the second perfect game of Wilkinson’s career. Against the Blazers, she struck out six of the 15 batters she faced, including all three in the final inning. She improves to 5-0 on the year and was 3-0 for the tournament with 23 strikeouts in 14 innings.