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    The latest season of Georgia Bulldog baseball comes to a close: the Diamond Dogs lost 3-0 to Mississippi State in Wednesday’s rain-delayed opening round game of the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament in Hoover Alabama.  Sophomore Konnor Pilkinton carried a shutout to the ninth to lead 19th-ranked Mississippi State to the win over Georgia at the SEC Tournament Wednesday at the Hoover Met. MSU junior first baseman Brent Rooker, the SEC Player of the Year, provided a 2-0 lead when he smashed his league-leading 21st home run in the first inning off junior Chase Adkins. In the third, State loaded the bases with one out and only managed a sacrifice fly from Hunter Vansau to make it 3-0. State improves to 35-22 while Pilkington is now 7-5.   Georgia missed out on a scoring opportunity in the second inning, putting runners at the corners with nobody out after Mitchell Webb reached with a leadoff walk and LJ Talley lined a single to right field. However, Pilkington retired the next three Bulldogs to maintain their edge. Going to the ninth, Georgia had hits from Talley, freshman shortstop Cam Shepherd in the first inning and freshman catcher Austin Biggar in the eighth frame. Adkins saw his record drop to 6-7, allowing three runs on seven hits. Georgia’s bullpen of Drew Moody, Kevin Smith and Zac Kristofak combined to provide 4.1 innings of scoreless relief.   In the ninth, Georgia looked to rally as Shepherd collected his second hit to give him his team-best 21st multiple-hit game of the year and then Curry followed with a single. State turned to left-hander Riley Self. He got McGovern to bounce into a double play and then retired Webb to preserve the shutout for his fifth save.   Two weeks ago in Athens, Georgia claimed the regular season series over then sixth-ranked MSU two games to one. In that series, Pilkington and MSU won the opener 9-3 as he tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.   The Bulldogs end the season with a record of 25-32.   Dawg Tracks *Nine Bulldogs played in the SEC Tournament for the first time in their career including four freshmen starting position players. *Freshman Cam Shepherd registered his team-leading 73rd hit with a single in the first, and it extended his hitting streak to five games. Also, he played flawless defense with four putouts and four assists. *Junior Will Campbell saw his first action in more than a month (23 games) as he pinch-hit in the fifth inning and played right field for the remainder of the game. *Georgia is now 28-43 all-time in SEC Tournament games after making its 23rd appearance. The Bulldogs are 4-9 against MSU at the SEC Tournament.   Coach’s Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “Konnor Pilkington was the difference in this game, that’s twice in the past two weeks that he’s shut us out for eight innings. We had our chance early in the game with two on and nobody out and he pitched out of trouble. I thought we pitched out of trouble a few times too. Still, we kept fighting and had a chance in the ninth with the tying run at the plate. I thought our kids battled down the stretch to get us to the SEC Tournament. It’s tough in this league and we won our last three SEC series against three really good teams.” 
  • A former UGA football wide receiver standout and now former teacher and coach at Parkview High School will remain behind bars for at least another week and a half. Mikey Henderson made a first court appearance Sunday morning to hear the charge of sexually assaulting one of his students.  The 32-year-old Henderson was denied bond by a Gwinnett County judge, and will have to remain in the county jail in Lawrenceville until his next hearing on May 31st. To the question from the judge of did he have a lawyer to represent him, Henderson replied simply “No sir,” and asked for a court-appointed attorney.  Henderson resigned his jobs as assistant football coach and math teacher at Parkview Friday morning. He was booked into jail soon after.  Henderson is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student that goes back more than two years, to when the student was a minor. That student is now 18. WSB Radio’s Sandra Parrish spoke to some Parkview students when they first heard the news. “That’s hard to hear, that’s hard to believe actually,” said one. “He’s like the nicest coach there is,” said another.  Henderson played for the Georgia Bulldogs from 2004 to 2007. He was hired at Parkview High School in July of 2013. 
  • SEC Network host, reporter and analyst Maria Taylor was named “College GameDay” host and “ABC Saturday Night Football” reporter on Tuesday. Taylor, formerly the host of SEC Network’s traveling gameday show “SEC Nation,” will replace sideline reporter Samantha Ponder on “College GameDay” this season. Ponder was named the host of “NFL Sunday Countdown” in March. “I am honored and excited to join the “College GameDay” and “Saturday Night Football” teams,” Taylor said in a statement released by ESPN. “I grew up watching ‘(College) GameDay’ and I have always been inspired by the new and innovative ways they entertain and inform college football fans. And I welcome a return to the sideline reporting role to cover the games that shape the college football landscape.” A former basketball and volleyball player at the University of Georgia, Taylor was hired by ESPN in 2012. ESPN announced Laura Rutledge will become the new host of “SEC Nation” in Taylor’s absence. “In a very short time, Maria has demonstrated versatility, presence and ease in her many roles. She is the rare ‘triple threat’ in this industry and we look forward to having her on the road with ‘(College) GameDay’ and ‘SNF’ come fall,” ESPN senior coordinating producer of college sports Lee Fitting said in the statement.    
  • Here’s a big question about Georgia’s new campus gun law that remains unanswered: Does a provision that bans weapons from “buildings or property used for athletic sporting events” also include parking lots used for tailgating outside stadiums? The Telegraph of Macon reports that the University of Georgia, home to tens of thousands of tailgating fans on many fall Saturdays, is still wrestling with that question. From the Telegraph: Georgia’s athletics department is unclear whether this law will strictly mean that guns are disallowed inside venues such as Sanford Stadium or if they will be banned from all tailgating sites. The University System of Georgia and attorneys likely are still sorting out the best way to enact the new law.   Athletics director Greg McGarity was reached twice during the past five days since the signing of the law and said he isn’t sure of the details yet. The University System of Georgia Regents declined further comment on the topic. House Bill 280 allows anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses — but it includes a long list of exemptions where guns are still forbidden. It is set to take effect on July 1,  and the state’s higher education system is scrambling to figure out how to implement it.
  • The Georgia Bulldog baseball team scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for a come-from-behind win over Furman, 10-6, in the season finale at Foley Field on Tuesday night.    In a designated staff night, Georgia used seven pitchers to defeat Furman as freshman Justin Glover was credited with his first career win.    Trailing 4-3 to start the bottom of the fifth inning, Georgia bats came alive with bases loaded and two outs on the board. Adam Sasser came to the plate and singled to first base, allowing the tying run to score. Will Proctor hit a single to left field, bringing two more runs home to give Georgia its first lead of the game. With runners at first and second, Tucker Maxwell hit a home run over the right field wall extending the Bulldogs’ lead to five runs.    Furman (27-25) got on the board early, scoring two runs in the first inning, before Georgia (23-30) brought a run home in the bottom of the second inning. Sasser singled to left field before advancing to second on a wild pitch. After two outs, Tucker Bradley singled to center field, bringing Sasser home.    The Paladins scored two more in the top of the third with the Bulldogs tightening the gap once again in the bottom of the frame. With Cam Shepherd at third and Keegan McGovern on second, Mitchell Webb hit a triple to center field, bringing the runners home.    The Bulldogs added a run in the sixth before the Paladins scored one run in each of the final two innings.    Georgia will close out the regular season on the road at South Carolina in a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series. The first two games are slated to begin at 7 p.m., with the series finale beginning at 3 p.m.
  • All University of Georgia varsity sports teams exceeded the required score in the annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) report released Wednesday by the NCAA.   The Academic Progress Rate, now in its 11th year, measures the eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. It also serves as a predictor of graduation success. The most recent APR scores are multi-year rates based on the scores from the 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years.   NCAA sports that fall below the established point cutoff of 930 are subject to penalties including scholarship reductions. UGA will not incur any penalties as all 20 NCAA Bulldog sports were significantly above the cutoff score.   Ten Georgia teams improved their scores from last year, five remained the same, and three had minor decreases.   With perfect scores of 1,000, the UGA men’s tennis, women’s cross country, and volleyball teams men’s were tops in the SEC.     *UGA SPORT/APR Scores Baseball – 972 Women’s Basketball -- 978 Men’s Basketball – 985 Women’s CC -- 1000 Men's CC – 994 Women’s Golf -- 994 Football – 961 Gymnastics -- 995 Men’s Golf – 988 Softball -- 961 Men’s Swim – 965 Soccer -- 993 Men’s Tennis – 1000 Women’s Swimming -- 993 Men’s T&F – 976 Women’s Tennis -- 992 Women’s T&F -- 986 Volleyball – 1000   *Equestrian is not currently included in the NCAA APR calculations
  • The Georgia Bulldog baseball team defeated Georgia Tech 8-7 Tuesday to complete a season sweep in front of a crowd of 23,737 at SunTrust Park in the 15th annual Spring Baseball Classic For Kids.   It marked the first sweep of Tech in a season series of at least three games since 1984 as Tuesday’s winning run scored from first on a two-out single by Keegan McGovern in the ninth thanks to aggressive base running by junior Mitchell Webb.    Georgia (20-29) took a 1-0 lead in the third. Sophomore Adam Sasser led off with a walk, took second on a bunt single by freshman Tucker Maxwell, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Austin Biggar and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman Tucker Bradley.In the fifth, Georgia extended its lead to 3-0 as Bradley extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single and freshman Cam Shepherd delivered a sacrifice fly.    In the fifth, freshman right-hander Zac Kristofak came in and Tech jumped ahead 4-3, rallying for four runs that all started with a two-out walk to the No. 9 hitter Kyle McCann. After loading the bases, Ryan Peurifoy lined a ball to left field that McGovern dove for but it bounced past him for a three-run double. Kel Johnson followed with an RBI-double. Georgia looked to junior Drew Moody, and he got the final out of the frame. Georgia responded by reclaiming a 5-4 lead with a pair of runs in the sixth highlighted by a two-out RBI bunt single by Biggar. In the seventh, McGovern smashed a two-out, two-run double to make it 7-4. Tech answered with a couple of two-out runs in their half of the inning to close the gap to 7-6. McCann reached with a leadoff walk in the eighth that ended Ryan Avidano’s outing and freshman Tim Elliott came in and after retiring Wade Bailey on a sacrifice bunt, Trevor Crayport tied the game with an RBI-single.   With two outs in the ninth, Webb reached on a walk. McGovern laced a single to center and Webb never stopped running, sliding home to beat the throw and put the Bulldogs in front 8-7. It marked McGovern’s third hit and RBI of the night   Georgia freshman Tim Elliott (1-0) earned the win in relief while Micah Carpenter (0-2) got the loss. With two on and one out in the ninth, Elliott was lifted in favor of sophomore right-hander Blakely Brown. He came in and got the second out before Georgia turned to freshman left-hander Justin Glover (0-2, 0 SV) to face McCann, and he got him to bounce out to first for his first career save. Tech dropped to 24-22.   In the first inning, Tech put runners at the corners with one out, and the Bulldogs turned their 35th double play of the season to end the threat. Tech put two on with one out in the second, and Georgia notched another double play.Georgia freshman right-hander Tony Locey started and provided four scoreless innings with four strikeouts but did not factor in the decision.   Georgia returns to league action Friday when it begins a three-game series against SEC co-leader and sixth-ranked Miss. State (32-17, 16-8 SEC) at Foley Field. First pitch will be at 7:02 p.m. and be available on SECN+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.
  • The “Best-Ever NCAA Women’s Gymnast” will now be the UGA gymnastics coach. UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity named former University of Georgia gymnast Courtney Kupets Carter the new head coach of her alma mater’s gymnastics team.
  • The Georgia Bulldog baseball team takes aim at a series sweep of rival Georgia Tech Tuesday at SunTrust Park in the 15th annual Spring Baseball Classic For Kids to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.   The Bulldogs (19-29) are riding high after winning a road series over then fourth-ranked Kentucky this past weekend, its first over a top five opponent on the road since 2006 (#3 Miss. State 2-1). The Bulldogs begin this week by playing Tech (23-21). Georgia will be going for a three-game sweep in this year’s series. The Bulldogs beat Tech 5-1 in Athens (April 11) and then registered a 7-5 victory at Tech (April 25). Georgia will have another staff night Tuesday starting with freshman RHP Tony Locey (2-3, 7.02 ERA).   In records dating back to 1950, Georgia leads the series with Tech 120-102. For the past 14 years, Georgia and Tech squared off at Turner Field to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the game annually drew more than 19,000 fans and raised more than $200,000. Georgia went 9-5 in those games against Tech. This will be Georgia’s second game at SunTrust Park after playing in the first contest open to the public on April 8. The Bulldogs lost 6-1 to Missouri, and the game attracted 33,025, which marked the second largest crowd ever to attend a college baseball game. Locey pitched one scoreless inning in that game versus the Tigers.   Tickets & Parking For SunTrust Game Bulldog fans headed to SunTrust Park for the Tech game are encouraged to purchase parking in advance at one of the available lots for $5 while game tickets are $15. Tickets and parking can be purchased at this link: http://gado.gs/7g8 Since parking is dispersed around the ballpark, this will enable you to use the Waze app for directions that will guide you directly to your parking spot. Simply type in “SunTrust Park,” then press “where to park” and select your parking lot. This is the easiest way to navigate the stadium and parking lots.
  • Powered by an eighth inning grand slam by Mitchell Webb and seven strong innings by Kevin Smith, Georgia defeated fourth-ranked Kentucky 6-3 Sunday to clinch an SEC series.  Smith registered a save in Friday’s win over the Wildcats and then limited the league’s top offense to a pair of runs on eight hits with six strikeouts over seven innings Sunday for his third victory of the year. Redshirt junior Drew Moody took care of the final two frames to secure the win.   Georgia (19-29, 7-17 SEC) took a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff home run by sophomore second baseman LJ Talley. It was his second of the year and came on his 20th birthday. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the third but the Wildcats turned a double play to keep it a one-run contest. In the third, Kentucky got a pair of two-out doubles to tie the contest.   In the seventh, junior Riley Mahan lifted a solo home run to center field, his team-leading 10th of the year, to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. Georgia responded in the eighth off Kentucky’s ace closer, Logan Salow who had allowed just two earned runs all year.    Freshman Tucker Bradley got the inning started with a bunt single and then freshman Cam Shepherd put down his first sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Michael Curry got ahead in the count 3-0 and on a 3-2 pitch laced a game-tying RBI-double. Keegan McGovern drew a walk and Talley followed with an infield single to load the bases. Webb stepped up and crushed his first career grand slam and a 6-2 advantage. The Wildcats pushed across a run in the ninth for the final.   Kentucky dropped to 32-16 overall and 15-9 in the SEC. Salow fell to 2-5, spoiling a fine start by Justin Lewis who allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings.    Georgia returns to action Tuesday in Atlanta at SunTrust Park where it goes for a series sweep of Georgia Tech. First pitch will be at 7 p.m, and the game will be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.   Dawg Tracks: *Junior 3B Mitchell Webb smashed his first career grand slam to put Georgia in front 6-2 in the 8th. It was the first grand slam by a Bulldog since 2016 by Nick King in a 10-3 win over Ole Miss.  *Sophomore 2B LJ Talley celebrated his birthday Sunday by smashing a home run in his first at bat. It was his second home run of the year and gave Georgia a 1-0 lead in the second. *Freshman RF Tucker Bradley extended his hitting streak to a career high eight games and finished 2-for-5. During this streak, he is batting .500 (18-36). *Sophomore DH Michael Curry notched his team-high 17th multiple-hit game as he went 3-for-3 with an RBI-double and a walk. *Georgia turned a season-high four double plays Sunday, the most since a 2014 win over Binghamton. *Freshman C Austin Biggar threw out two Wildcats trying to steal second.   Player Perspective: Mitchell Webb “It was great to win the series here. I was trying to get the ball in the air and get one of the runs in (when I came up with the bases loaded), and I put a good swing on it and it felt good. I haven’t hit a grand slam since high school, and today’s was the coolest thing I’ve done.”   Coach’s Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “Both of those guys (Michael Curry and Mitchell Webb) had big,big hits. Michael hammered his ball to tie the game, and Mitchell got down two strikes against their closer, and he came though too. He’s a hard worker and again came through in the biggest of situations, and I’m happy for them and all the guys. Our defense was really good today and all weekend. We turned four double plays and you watch our guys just growing up and playing with some confidence. We competed well against the No. 4 team in the country and won a series here on their field. Also, what Kevin Smith was able to do after closing it out Friday with a save and getting a win today going seven innings against their lineup,that was outstanding.”