slams Bulldogs past Rebels in SEC tourney
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
HOOVER, Ala. - Ole Miss celebrated winning the regular season
SEC co-champion title during pre-game ceremonies only to have
the sixth-seeded Georgia Bulldogs burst their bubble in a real
big hurry on the strength of Matt Cerione's first career grand
slam, a screaming line drive in the sixth inning that cleared
the centerfield fence at the 405' mark to power a 6-3 win in the
opening round of the conference tournament.
started as a pitcher's duel as Bulldog starter Miles Starr and
Ole Miss left-hander Drew Pomeranz (left) matched zeros for 4.2
The Rebels, ranked seventh in the nation by College Baseball
Insider's composite poll, took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when
Kevin Mort led off with a single into right field and moved over
to scoring position on a base hit by Evan Button and it stood up
until Cerione's blast put Georgia (1-0 SEC tourney, 36-20) ahead
for good in the sixth frame.
The Bulldogs, once ranked as high as number one in the country,
came into the contest fresh off a sweep by South Carolina and
losers of nine of their last 10 games, added to their lead in
the seventh when Zach Cone singled off of the pitcher's glove
and advanced to second on a wild throw that ended up down the
right field line. He then advanced on a wild pitch and after
Miles Starr was hit by a pitch, scored moments later on a double
by Peter Verdin.
Cerione scored Starr with a deep fly ball to right to bump the
score to 6-2.
The Rebels (0-1, 40-16) made some noise in the eighth on a
leadoff hit by Logan Power followed by a base hit just over
leaping Bulldog shortstop Levi Hyams to put runners at first and
third. Kyle Henson hit the first pitch he saw for an RBI single
to score Power to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 6-3. It would be the
last threat they would be able to mount against Georgia
Grimm (right) picked up the win, his third of the year, with 5.1
innings of solid work. He allowed eight hits and just one earned
run while striking out three and walking two.
Pomeranz (6-4) was saddled with the loss. He threw 5.1 innings
and allowed four earned runs on five hits. He walked three and
registered six strikeouts.
Georgia advances to play Arkansas on Thursday at 5:00 central
Mississippi squares off with Florida on Thursday morning. First
pitch is scheduled for 10.
(photos by Jimmy Jones)