Dawgs set for Vandy

Posted May 5, 2005

ATHENS – Georgia’s baseball team is short on SEC victories and running out of time to get them, but the Bulldogs remain almost blindly confident that they’ll make the postseason this year.

For that to happen, they have to start winning some games soon. Georgia (23-20, 7-13 SEC) is in 11th-place in its 12-team conference with less than three weeks of regular season remaining. Only the top eight conference teams will play in the SEC Tournament in Birmingham later this month, but the daunting math of that equation doesn’t faze the Bulldogs.

“I have no doubt in my mind we’ll be in Birmingham,” junior outfielder Bobby Felmy said. “Yeah we’re losing, but we’re playing better than we have. It’s time for us to go on our run.”

“There’s not a doubt in our mind right now,” seconded senior catcher Derek Smith.

Part of the team’s confidence is based on the fact that it’s finally back at home. Two of the Bulldogs’ final three SEC series will be played at Foley Field. The first of those starts tonight at 7 when they play the opener of a three-game series against Vanderbilt.

Playing at home “has got to be huge, but it’s tough to tell because we haven’t been here in so long,” Coach David Perno said.

The homestand is a welcome respite for a team that just finished an eight-game road trip against nationally ranked opponents. Georgia lost five of those games and has lost eight of its last 13 overall. It will have to do much better than that down the stretch to qualify for the SEC Tournament. Most observers think the Dogs will have to win seven of their last nine league games to play in Birmingham, but Perno said his team has not target number.”

“I think our kids are smart enough to know that every one is precious,” he said. “Just go out and get it done.”

Perno remains confident in his team but is less sure of the outcome than his players.

“I’m very confident in this team playing good baseball,” he said. “Whether or not the stars are in line for us to make the run we need to make, you never know.

The Commodores (29-14, 10-11 SEC) are one rung above Georgia in the SEC’s Eastern Division.

“They’re not a whole different than us,” Perno said. “They’ve got to win some ball games, too so it’s going to be a very competitive weekend.”

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