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May 16, 2013
Dawgs officially eliminated
The cap has officially been placed on Georgia's 2013 baseball season.
Yes, the Bulldogs still have two games to go against arch-rival Florida, but thanks to Thursday night's 4-2 loss to the visiting Gators, Georgia can officially say goodbye to any hope of making next week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
"We knew it was a longshot going in, it's just been one of those years and maybe our win Tuesday (over Georgia Tech) will be the only thing we can hang our hat on," said skipper David Perno, whose team won two of three games from the Yellow Jackets. "But they'll finish the right way. These guys will finish it out. They're obviously disappointed. We're actually playing pretty good baseball but we're just not scoring enough and just making a couple of mistakes at the wrong time."
Believe it or not, the Bulldogs (19-32, 5-19) were still technically alive for postseason before the first pitch Thursday, although Georgia needed to sweep and get major help to make that occur. Thursday's loss coupled with Missouri's win over Kentucky took care of that.
Instead, Georgia will now close out its season Friday and Saturday, with all attention turning to whether or not Perno retains his job.
"It's tough. It's hard to deal with," senior catcher Brett DeLoach said. "It's just a pride standpoint from here on out. It's against our biggest rival, we've got two games left. For our seniors, this this (the two remaining games) is how you want to be remembered."
Bulldog starter Blake Dieterich certainly did his part.
Dieterich scattered five hits over five innings, limiting the Gators to just two runs before Patrick Boling took over to start the sixth.
The Gators reached Dieterich for a 1-0 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly by Brady Robertson, before Florida added another run in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
It could have been worse.
Florida loaded the bases against the left-hander with nobody out, but managed just the one run before Dieterich escaped out of the jam.
Georgia's bats, however, didn't offer much support.
Gator pitcher Jonathan Crawford (5-3) scattered just five hits and gave up just two runs over 6.2 innings, one of which scored on a wild pitch that allowed Hunter Cole to scoot home from third.
Georgia did eventually tie the game in seventh on an RBI by DeLoach only to have the Gators (29-25, 14-14) regain the lead in the ninth with two runs on an RBI single by Harrison Bader and a balk by Boling (3-7).
"We're hitting balls right at them and they're doing a good job finding holes," Perno said. "Sometimes it just goes like that when things turn like they've turned for us. You fight and fight and fight, but once you get enough scars on you it starts to wear on you."
NOTES: Georgia and Florida continue their series Saturday at 7 p.m. with Bulldog Sean McGlaughlin (4-6, 3.49) facing off against Bobby Poyner (3-2, 3.98).