Georgia drops first game in SEC Tourney

HOOVER, AL - The No. 3 seed Georgia Bulldogs fell 9-4 to the No. 6 seed Vanderbilt Commodores in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday in front of 4,933 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Ninth-ranked Georgia (38-18) took a 1-0 lead in the first when Joey Side tripled to right and scored on a double by freshman shortstop Gordon Beckham.

However, Vanderbilt (34-23) immediately responded and took the lead for good, grabbing a 3-1 advantage in the second en route to the victory. Georgia lost for just the second time in its last 16 games. Vanderbilt's 16-hit attack featured 14 singles.

In the second, Dominic de la Osa reached on a fielding error by Bulldog third baseman Ryan Peisel, advanced to second on wild pitch, and came around to score on single from Shea Robin tying the game at one apiece. With two outs, the Commodores went ahead by stringing together four singles with David Macias and Pedro Alvarez both picking up RBIs.

Commodore senior starter Matt Buschmann tossed six innings allowing four runs, only one earned, and struck out seven en route to picking up the win to improve to 5-4 while Bulldog starter Mickey Westphal took his first loss of the season falling to 6-1. Westphal allowed seven runs, four earned, on nine hits (eight singles) in 4.1 innings of work.

"Vanderbilt had a good gameplan for Mickey, and they had answer for us after we got up 1-0, and it was just a tough day all around," said Georgia coach David Perno. "Vanderbilt was aggressive early in the count and that worked today for them."

In the bottom of the second, the Bulldogs pulled the game to 3-2. Jason Jacobs reached on an error by Vanderbilt first baseman Brad French, advanced around to third on a double from Ryan Peisel, and scored on a groundout to second from Matthew Dunn. However, Vanderbilt scored two runs in the third on a single to center from Ryan Davis to stretch the Commodores advantage to 5-2. In the fifth, Vanderbilt pushed the lead to six runs going up 8-2. Brian Hernandez reached by drawing a walk and de la Osa singled and stole second putting runners at second and third. Then Robin, Davis, and Alex Feinberg each delivered run scoring singles.

The Bulldogs plated two runs in the sixth on a double from designated hitter Matt Olson cutting the score to 8-4. Josh Morris and Jacobs were aboard on an error and a walk respectively. In the seventh, the Commodores picked up a run on a sacrifice fly to left from Robin that scored Hernandez and gave the gave its final margin. Hernandez had doubled and moved up to third on an error by Jonathan Wyatt.

After Westphal, Georgia got 2.2 innings from redshirt freshman Stephen Dodson while freshman Trevor Holder, a Birmingham native, tossed two scoreless innings.

Georgia will next face 10th-ranked Kentucky (42-14) on Thursday in an elimination game with first pitch slated for 10:06 a.m. CST, and it will be televised by CSS. Kentucky fell 4-2 to South Carolina in game one of the Tournament. The winner between Bulldogs and the Wildcats will advance to face to the loser of the South Carolina-Vanderbilt winner's bracket game.

Dawg Post Top Stories