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COLLEGE BASEBALL/FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: UGA football close to wrapping up spring practice as G-Day game looms; Yellow Jackets down Bulldogs in baseball, 5-3

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- The Georgia football team inched closer to the end of spring drills with a 90-minute practice on Tuesday on the Woodruff Practice Fields.

The Bulldogs will practice again Thursday, then will cap the spring with the annual G-Day Game on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

"I thought it was a good day competition-wise," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "I liked the energy and the tempo the guys showed. I thought we got better (Tuesday)."

On Monday, the rosters for the G-Day Game were established in a draft held by the game captains, including seniors center Ben Jones and cornerback Brandon Boykin. The captains picked one position at a time until every player at that position was selected and then moved on to another unit.

"Every position on our team has talented players, so there was not that much drop-off as we picked," Jones said. "We picked our friends, but we also made it competitive. But by picking our friends, we'll be able to trash talk during the game."

Jones was asked for his reaction to the torn right anterior cruciate ligament suffered last Saturday by senior tackle Trinton Sturdivant. It is the third ACL injury for Sturdivant, the previous two coming on his left knee.

"When it happened, we thought it was a strain," Jones said. "He called me that night, and I said, 'You're kidding.' I hate it for him. He's like one of our brothers, and I hate seeing him have to be out."

The G-Day Game will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised by CSS and will be broadcast on the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network.

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GEORGIA TECH HOLDS OFF RIVAL GEORGIA, 5-3

ATLANTA - Freshman Matthew Grimes had a career-high 10 strikeouts to lead No. 9 Georgia Tech (25-9) to a 5-3 win over arch-rival Georgia (18-16) on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets have now won five straight over the Bulldogs and six of the last seven games in the rivalry. The series will conclude with the "Spring Baseball Classic for Kids", held on April 26 at Turner Field.

Grimes (5-1) won his fifth game of the year after scattering two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. The Hoschton, Ga. native did not issue any walks, his second time to do so in a start this season.

"I felt great. It was the best I have ever felt," said Grimes, who improved to 2-0 against Georgia this season. "I don't know what it was, but it was coming out of my hand the right way. I threw strikes and didn't walk anybody.

"I was just trying to make them put it in play. Our defense worked; we have a good defense."

Tech had contributions throughout the batting order on Tuesday, as seven different players recorded a hit and all five of the teams' runs were scored by a different player.

Freshman Daniel Palka and sophomores Sam Dove and Brandon Thomas each had two of the team's 10 base knocks. Palka belted his seventh home run of the season with a two-run shot in the fourth inning.

Georgia took the games first lead with two outs in the top of the second inning, on a solo home run to right field by third baseman Colby May off of Grimes. May was 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Bulldogs.

After allowing the home run, Grimes would go on to retire 12 of the next 16 batters, eight of them on strikeouts.

"(Grimes) was in control, he pitched out of trouble when he had to and made his pitches," head coach Danny Hall said. "You hope that this gives him a lot of confidence heading down the stretch. He has got a lot of talent and this was in my mind his best game of the year."

The Jackets would get things going later in the third, as Dove, Mott Hyde and Thomas - the bottom of Tech's order -- all hit singles off of Georgia starter Chase Hawkins to load the bases. Freshman Kyle Wren brought in a run on a fielder's choice to second base before junior Jacob Esch gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead on a single to left field.

Palka's two-run round-tripper to right field in the fourth inning extended the lead to 4-1.

Hawkins (1-2) was credited with the loss after allowing the four runs on seven hits over four innings.

The two teams would trade runs in the seventh inning, on RBI hits from Tech's Skole and Georgia's May, before Bulldog center fielder Zach Cone homered to right field in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-3.

"It was a well-played game, and we had some chances but couldn't get that big hit on the road tonight," Georgia coach David Perno told georgiadogs.com. "Tech has a good lineup and Grimes got a lot of punchouts so you have to give them credit tonight. The key for us is to keep our focus, get ready for the weekend and continue to get those types of opportunities to win ball games."

Sophomore pitcher Luke Bard would close out the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.

Georgia Tech will return to action this weekend with a three-game road series at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. First pitch is at 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Georgia will be back in action Friday for the first of a three-game SEC series against fourth-ranked Florida (26-8, 9-3 SEC). The Gators lost to 11th-ranked Florida State, 3-1, on Tuesday.

FSU claimed the season series over Florida three games to one. First pitch at Foley Field Friday is slated for 7:06 p.m., and the game will be televised by CSS.