Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Onward in Hoover

Thursday May 21, 2009

Last year I called the SEC baseball tournament the world’s most meaningless playoff. Sure enough, an early exit had zero impact on Georgia’s national seed. Can you name another postseason event where the top four seeds losing on the first day is just a nice bit of trivia instead of big news?

Georgia was one of the bottom four seeds that emerged from Wednesday with a win, and they’ll face Arkansas on Thursday evening. Credit Cerione with a big game, and it was encouraging to see the bullpen hold the lead. It’s still tough to find meaning in the tournament for Georgia – their spot in the NCAA tournament is pretty much set, and it’s unlikely that a tournament championship would put them back in contention to host a regional, much less earn a national seed.

But a good showing in Hoover is more important than usual for a few reasons. First, the Diamond Dawgs are still seeking their first SEC Tournament title. That would be nice to pick up in a year in which they faded from the race for the regular season championship. Bigger though is the need to get back into the mindset of winning heading into the NCAA tournament. Georgia finished the year on shaky ground and confidence waning. Even the hitting that carried the team for most of the year faded down the stretch. The team needs a few wins in a big way, and getting them with a tournament title at stake is a nice bonus. It might also get them into a more favorable regional if they are forced to hit the road.

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