Georgia Bulldogs: NCAA baseball

Three Georgia signees or active players came off the board in Tuesday’s second round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Signees Joe DeCarlo and Duane Underwood were both picked early in the second round, while All-SEC pitcher Alex Wood went late in the round.

DeCarlo was the fourth pick of the day -- 64th overall -- when the Seattle Mariners picked him Tuesday. He was followed closely by fellow Bulldogs signee Duane Underwood, a pitcher/outfielder who went 67th overall to the Chicago Cubs.

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HOOVER, Ala. -- If the Georgia Bulldogs look back and wonder “What if?” they'll be thinking of Wednesday afternoon. Down one with the tying run 90 feet away and the winning run another 30 yards behind him, the Bulldogs couldn’t get the job done against the Auburn Tigers, dropping an elimination game, 3-2, at Regions Park.

The loss is the Bulldogs’ fourth straight and threatens the postseason hopes of a team that finished 31-26. The SEC tournament in Hoover would have been their proving ground. Now the selection committee must judge a regular season wrought with ups and downs.

After the game, UGA coach David Perno was frustrated with the way he handled the game and couldn’t say whether a shot at the NCAAs would be in his team’s future. He and Auburn coach John Pawlowski passed each other in the hallway, the fourth-year coach of the Tigers wishing his counterpart good luck moving forward.

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HOOVER, Ala. -- Alex Wood walked the tightrope and fell, hopping from one jam to another in Georgia’s opening-round game against Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. Meanwhile, the Commodores played a skilled game of trapeze in the field, showing off some slick fielding on their way to a 4-1 win Tuesday night at Regions Park.

Vanderbilt didn’t commit a single error and cut off a key threat in the fifth inning on a diving stop from first baseman Conrad Gregor, who fired the ball home to stop the Georgia baserunner in his tracks. The run would have tied the score and given UGA the momentum heading into the final third of the game. Instead, Vanderbilt continued to make plays and rode a wave of momentum the Bulldogs couldn’t turn back.

The game ended on a spectacular diving catch in left field from Jack Lupo, who had to lay out to haul in the final out.

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The Bulldogs take on the in-state rival Yellow Jackets at 7 p.m. ET today. Watch it live here on WatchESPN.
Watch Saturday's baseball game at 7:30 p.m. ET, live on ESPN3.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia baseball coach David Perno hinted that lineup changes might be ahead after the Bulldogs went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Georgia Tech.

Perno announced after Wednesday’s practice that he will in fact shuffle the lineup in this weekend’s series at No. 6 LSU (33-9, 12-6 SEC) -- with the biggest change being freshman slugger Hunter Cole’s return to competition.

Cole, who leads the Bulldogs (24-18, 8-10) with six home runs and is batting .370 in SEC play, missed the last six games with a strained muscle in his right side. Perno said Cole is not pain-free, but the injury has healed to the point that he would not risk further injury by playing.

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NCAA baseball bracketology

April, 26, 2012
While Kentucky and Florida State lead the way as top seeds, Georgia looks to be heading to the Chapel Hill regional.
Right-hander Hudson Randall gets the start for the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. today as they conclude their weekend series with their SEC archrival, the Florida Gators, ranked No. 2 in the power rankings. The series, which started Friday, is tied at 1. Georgia won Saturday's game, 5-3.

Today's game will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Watch it here on ESPN3.

ATHENS, Ga. -- David Perno recently set an offensive goal for his Georgia baseball team to work toward -- one that seems to be the dividing line between success and failure.

“We set out a couple weeks ago to score six runs a game and that’s all it would’ve took [against Furman],” Perno said after Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Paladins. “That’s not a tall order.”

In fact, entering this weekend’s series at top-ranked Florida (29-8, 9-6 SEC), that six-run benchmark has been a nearly automatic signal of victory for the Bulldogs (23-15, 7-8). Georgia is a sparkling 11-2 when it scores at least six runs in a game, but 12-13 when it scores five runs or less.

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UGA baseball up to No. 7 in power poll 

February, 29, 2012
Undefeated Georgia moved up to seventh in this week's ESPN college baseball power rankings.

The Bulldogs (8-0) came into today's game against Western Carolina off consecutive shutouts against Winthrop on Sunday and Savannah State on Tuesday. It was the first time since 1986 that Georgia pitchers posted back-to-back shutouts.

Georgia -- ranked 10th in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches poll -- already has three shutouts this season after posting two in the entire 2011 season.


Peach State: Top Tier Recruiting Ground?
California, Florida and Texas are largely considered the "Big Three" in college football recruiting. But national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to explain why Georgia deserves to be in the top tier and has numbers to prove it.