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Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - Sean Newcomb couldn't summon the usual bite on his fastball, so he decided to just settle in and pitch. 'I didn't have my best stuff all around, I'd say, but I was able to get some fastballs in the zone, make other things work a little bit, get some weak contact,' he said. 'That's all I was trying to do.' Newcomb pitched six strong innings to win his fourth straight start, Johan Camargo and Ozzie Albies each drove in two runs, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 8-1 on Saturday night. Ender Inciarte went 3 for 4 and Freddie Freeman added a two-run homer in the eighth to help Atlanta win for the eighth time in 11 games and hold onto the NL's best record at 27-17. Newcomb (5-1) had thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest active streak in the majors, before the Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the second when Justin Bour singled, advanced to third on Cameron Maybin's double and scored on a groundout. Newcomb allowed four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in four starts this month. Braves manager Brian Snitker thought the left-hander showed maturity when he wasn't feeling as strong as usual. 'It seemed like he had to really grind through this one,' Snitker said, 'but he stayed current with pitch to pitch again and made some good pitches when he had to.' Jose Urena (0-7) lost his eighth straight decision, with his last victory coming Sept. 20 against the New York Mets. The Marlins have lost each of his 10 starts this year and 12 straight overall to match the longest streak in club history, set by Brian Moehler from 2006-07. The Braves scored four runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Inciarte reached on an infield single as the ball deflected off first baseman Bour's glove. Second baseman Starlin Castro fielded the ball and lifted it toward first with his glove to retire Inciarte, but Bour and Urena collided at the bag and the ball bounced away, allowing Inciarte to advance to second and Kurt Suzuki to third. Suzuki scored on Camargo's RBI single, and Inciarte scored on a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Dansby Swanson. Albies' single cleared the bases. Suzuki's sixth homer and Camargo's RBI double made it 6-1 off Jarlin Garcia in the seventh. Freeman has nine homers, including four in six games against the Marlins this season. Urena gave up five hits and four runs in six innings. 'Jose was good - really can't ask for much more from him,' Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. 'His pitch count was down and he got ground balls. We just didn't make any plays for him that inning, I thought.' TRAINER'S ROOM Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto got the day off with the Braves starting a left-hander. Though his .332 road average since the start of 2016 ranks third in the majors, Realmuto is hitting .211 in 21 plate appearances overall against lefties this season. Braves: Swanson, reinstated from the disabled list after missing 13 games with left wrist inflammation, went 0 for 2 with one run scored and one RBI. GOHARA GEARING UP Snitker said LHP Luiz Gohara will make his starting debut Wednesday at Philadelphia unless he's needed for extended bullpen work over the next four days. The Braves have an open spot after RHP Mike Soroka went to the DL with shoulder tightness. Gohara was projected to be a regular in the rotation before ankle and groin injuries sidelined him throughout spring training. Since getting recalled from Gwinnett on May 8 to pitch in relief, he has no record with a 1.29 ERA in seven innings. UP NEXT Marlins: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 7.56) will make his first start against Atlanta since 2016. He pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his last outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week. Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (4-1, 3.49 ERA) will make his 18th career start against the Marlins and is 6-5 with a 3.49 ERA in the series. Teheran has won three straight starts overall. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • ATHENS — First let’s talk about what happened in Georgia’s baseball game on Saturday, then we’ll talk about what has happened this season. The abridged version: Keegan McGovern, Mr. Everything for the Bulldogs, threw out an Arkansas runner at home plate to win the game 3-2. That’s right, a day after recording a win over No. 6 Arkansas with a 10th-inning, walk-off hit, No. 13 Georgia won with a walk-off, throw-out from its left fielder in the last game of the regular season. If you hadn’t thought so before, it’s about now you start to think, “maybe this Georgia team is something special.” “I thought that already,” said Scott Stricklin, the Bulldogs’ fifth-year coach. “But I’ve never seen a game end like that before.” Stricklin, you’ll note, has overseen 815 games as a college head coach and participated in about 60 a year since he first played college ball at Kent State in 1990. So, yes, it was unusual play, on multiple levels. First was the fact that Arkansas sent its runner from third base on a shallow fly ball on the foul line while tied with one out in the top of the ninth. Then there was the notability of the person fielding the ball. McGovern had 3 assists on the season. For what it’s worth, Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said it was his decision and he didn’t regret it. “I was surprised he went,” said McGovern, a senior who hit his 15th home run in the game and is on the Golden Spikes watch list. “But as the ball was coming down, everybody was yelling ‘4, 4, 4,’ so I knew where I had to go with it.” Almost literally, McGovern delivered a strike. His throw to catcher Austin Biggar came in knee high on the line and never touched the ground. Biggar simply had to catch it and fall forward to tag out the hard-sliding Heston Kjerstad, who’d led off the inning with a double and went to third on a passed ball. So that’s how the inning had begun, with a runner on third and no outs. Yet the Bulldogs wiggled out of it. Of course. And that’s what they’ve been doing all year, mostly. Even the ones they’ve lost have been heart-palpitating thrillers. This bunch competes like they’re livelihood depends on it. Thank you, Seniors! #DoItForTheSeniors | #SeniorDay #DawgsOnTop | #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/WN4dhUoQVv — Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) May 19, 2018 For Stricklin, it actually did. No bones about it. He entered the fifth year of his six-year deal to be Georgia’s coach without an NCAA Regional appearance and with athletic director Greg McGarity answering questions about why Stricklin hadn’t already been fired. That’s no longer on the table. The only inevitability now is a contract extension. He might even have a bonus coming for SEC Coach of the Year. Truly, if it went to anybody else at this point, an investigation might be warranted. Some facts to consider: Georgia has recorded its lowest team ERA (3.66 coming in) in 50 years, a tribute both to Stricklin and the new pitching coach he brought in from Michigan this year, Sean Kenny. They’re also hitting 30 points higher and fielding 17 points better. And they’re versatile. The game Saturday was a perfect example. The Bulldogs scored 1 run via 2 bunts and 2 runs via 2 homers. “We can win a lot of different ways,” Stricklin said. And now they’ve already won 10 more games than Stricklin’s previous best season. Accordingly, there is a bunch more to play for at this point. Arkansas (37-17, 18-12 SEC) came in with a national RPI of No. 3; Georgia (37-17, 18-12) was No. 4. The victory also assured the Bulldogs of the 3 seed and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament next week in Hoover, Ala. They’ll open Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET against an opponent to be determined. Georgia hasn’t been in this position since 2008, when it last hosted a Super Regional and was a College World Series finalist. The Bulldogs hadn’t even won an SEC Tournament game since Stricklin has been in town. Even if they don’t next week, it shouldn’t matter. The thought is that Georgia already has locked down a “super seed.” Those go to the nation’s top 8 teams. “We better be,” said Michael Curry, who hit his 10th homer of the season in the game. “I don’t know how we couldn’t be.” But even that’s not what it’s all about for these guys anymore. They’re having fun. They’re getting contributions from everybody down the lineup. They’re not just expecting it to win, but demanding it. “We knew it at the end of last year that we could win a lot more games,” said McGovern, the hulking left fielder from Willacoochee. “It’s probably a shock to everybody else but it isn’t to us.” The post Another walk-off win for drama-loving Diamond Dawgs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia softball dominated the competition in Athens for the second day in a row on Saturday afternoon, defeating Northwestern 12-0 in six innings. The Bulldogs finished off the mercy-rule win with seven runs in the final two frames, including a five-run sixth inning. An Alyssa DiCarlo homer in the top of the frame put the finishing touches on the victory. DiCarlo was the standout today, blasting three home runs and producing six RBI. She became just the fourth player in history to hit three homers in an NCAA Tournament game. Here’s a clip of her final blast of the day: 3️⃣ DiCarlo Dingers!! Watch @UGASoftball’s Alyssa DiCarlo hit her THIRD homer of the day! #NCAASoftball pic.twitter.com/VEggjSjseQ — NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 19, 2018 Justice Milz also had a nice day, getting two hits, scoring three runs and driving in a pair. In the circle, Georgia used four solid performances to shutout the Wildcats. Mary Wilson Avant got the start and limited Northwestern to just one hit over three innings. Amanda Ablan, Kylie Bass and Keara Napoli took it from there, permitting just five hits and one walk over the final three frames. Georgia now advances to the regional championship on Sunday, where the Bulldogs could meet Northwestern again. The Wildcats will first face the winner of Saturday’s elimination game between Cal and Harvard. Whoever prevails from that trio will have to beat the Bulldogs twice on Sunday in order to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. ET on Sunday. The post Alyssa DiCarlo blasts 3 homers as Georgia softball run-rules Northwestern appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It’s no small thing to be a linebacker on the Chicago Bears, a franchise that’s littered with some of the best to play the position in the history of football. The pressure to continue that lineage currently rests on the shoulders of Roquan Smith. From Dick Butkus to Brian Urlacher, Smith has some big shoes to fill in Chicago. But so far, he has the support of the legends that came before him. “I thought Roquan was a very humble guy,” Butkus told ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. “I talked to a lot of Georgia people about Roquan, and they all said he’s a good kid and a hell of a player. “Just don’t give Roquan too much pressure … Just let him play.” Smith, of course, won the award that Butkus is named after last season. He was named the top linebacker in the country, and eventually met the namesake for the honor. “I have a ton of respect for the guys that came before me and played the position,” Smith told reporters last week at rookie camp. “There are many legends here, so it’s great to try to come in and do something special, but I’ll just be the best player I can be.” Urlacher, who starred for the Bears from 2000-12, also seems impressed with what Smith will bring to the table in Chicago. “Roquan seems like the kind of guy that can go out there and light it up on defense. He just needs to focus on going out there and meeting his teammates,” Urlacher said on ESPN radio last week. “You look at what he did in college. His numbers were great at the combine. All of his tackle numbers were good. He made big plays. He’s a smart guy. I think it was a smart draft pick by the Bears. It surprised me because I didn’t think they were going to take a linebacker but when a player of that caliber is sitting there, you have to take him. I think they did the right thing.” Time will tell how well Smith ends up working out for the Bears, but the early indications are as good as could be expected.   The post Chicago Bears legends Dick Butkus, Brian Urlacher have high expectations for Roquan Smith appeared first on DawgNation.