Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Diamond Dawg pitching depth propels them to Omaha

Tuesday June 13, 2006

Sometime around the middle of the season the names Moreau, Holder, Dodson, and Leaver became as familiar to Georgia baseball fans as Westphal, Brown, Warren, and Fields. The emergence of those four freshmen gave Georgia real pitching depth, and suddenly they had the arms to sustain them on their late-season winning streak.

The advantage of that depth was obvious in the super regional against South Carolina. Though pitching didn’t matter much in Saturday’s game, it played a large role in the final two games of the series. Both nights, South Carolina was forced to stick too long with their starter because of a shaky bullpen. Georgia capitalized both nights as the Gamecock starters tired and then vulnerable relievers came in. Meanwhile, Georgia was able to turn to several dependable arms out of the bullpen to keep the games in hand before the Georgia offense took over each night.

I am especially happy to see the role that Bobby Felmy played in the two Georgia wins. Felmy has had his moments this senior season, including a huge game-winning RBI against Georgia Tech at Turner Field. But to be honest, he was struggling on offense by his standards. His two homeruns ignited Georgia’s biggest innings on Sunday and Monday, and his five RBIs were all critical to Georgia’s success.

11-0 all-time in Athens in elimination games for Georgia. Incredible. These cardiac canines found new life midseason after a weak SEC start left them in a big hole. From the SEC Tournament to both rounds of the NCAA postseason this far, Georgia has shown the same spirit to keep fighting and emerge on top. Now this show goes to Omaha, and there is no reason why they can’t win there also. One of the keys to surviving the double-elimination test in Omaha is having the pitching to get through that second and third game and advance to Championship Weekend. This year, that factor might finally be on Georgia’s side.

This is really an incredible time for Georgia baseball.  There have only been eight trips to the NCAA Tournament in program history, and four of those have come since 2001.  The program has made five trips to Omaha, and three of those have come since 2001.  The Dawgs were probably a single SEC win from making the tournament in 2005, so even the “down” years lately are better than the historical norms.  With a strong showing in Omaha, not many SEC baseball programs can claim as good a start to this decade as Georgia.

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