Dawgs get ready for Athens Regional

ATHENS - The NCAA Baseball Athens Regional field of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Lipscomb wrapped up final preparations Thursday by working out for 75-minutes apiece at Foley Field.

Georgia head coach David Perno said the Bulldogs, who are the number eight national seed, are playing host to a very talented regional. First up, they will face Lipscomb at 3:06 p.m. Friday.  

"Anybody this time of year, if you are in this tournament, you're dangerous because you did one of two things: you either had a very good season or you won your tournament. If you just won your tournament, you're coming in with a lot of momentum and that's the case with them (the Bisons). We're just trying to get our guys to play like we did a few weeks ago, and if we do that, we'll be in good shape.  

After clinching the SEC title, eight-ranked Georgia (35-21-1) dropped it final league series of the season to Alabama at Foley Field and then went 0-2 at the SEC Tournament when four starters were out the lineup due to injury. The Bulldogs look to be back to full strength, according to Perno.  

The Bisons (32-28) enter the regional as the fourth seed and Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament champions. They are making their first appearance in an NCAA Regional.  

"We're a small school but we've played some SEC teams in midweek games and last year we played LSU in a three-game series, so we'll see how we experience the intensity of a regional," said Bisons head coach Jeff Forehand.  

Georgia will start junior right-hander Stephen Dodson (5-3, 3.80 ERA) while Lipscomb counters with sophomore left-hander Rex Brothers (3-5, 5.82 ERA)  

Georgia Tech (39-19) head coach Danny Hall said his squad is ready to go against a tough regional field.  

"We're playing in our own state, and it's good for our fans to be able to drive up and support their Yellow Jackets," said Hall. "All 64 teams that are left are good. We're proud of what we accomplished so far but now we need to do our best because we're playing some of the best teams in the country. This regional has got the SEC champion, the Big East champion and the Atlantic Sun Tournament champion so it's a great opportunity for our players."

  The No. 2 seed Ga. Tech will start junior left-hander David Duncan (7-3, 4.47 ERA) against No. 3 seed Louisville (41-19) and sophomore left-hander Justin Marks (9-1, 2.21 ERA). The Yellow Jackets and Cardinals square off at 7:06 p.m.

  "We went 26-5 over our last 31 games so we're playing well, and any time you have a chance for post season experience is a plus," said Cardinal coach Dan McDonnell. "We respect our opponents and just preparing to play good baseball."


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