Despite being the beginning of summer, last week there was plenty going on in the world of sports for both current and former Bulldogs. One former Dawg continued his winning ways while other won in other areas. Just like last week (when I mentioned Heather Stepp McCormick), another former great is on his way to Georgia to help his former team. I will recap all that and more as I delve deep into the land of the red and black just in case you missed it.
I am starting with Alex Wood. Recently he has received a lot of attention on the message boards, but avid readers of this article know that we have been talking about the southpaw all season long. Wood dominated again for the Dodgers as last Friday he went six strong innings allowing just two hits and one earned run while striking out eight and walking three. The three walks were high for him as that was just the second time he has done that in 14 appearances (12 starts) this season. For the season he improved to a perfect 9-0 record with a 1.83 earned run average. Opponents are hitting just .178 against him and he has thrown 87 strikeouts compared to just 20 walks in just 73 2/3 innings pitched.
Check this stat out… in eight games (six starts) at home he has an ERA of 1.83 and in six games (six starts) on the road his ERA is also 1.83. If you want another breakdown check this out.
Alex Wood - Season Comparison
Appearances / Starts
5 / 3
5 / 5
4 / 4
Strikeouts / Walks
19 / 8
41 / 7
27 / 5
He is still a little short in innings pitched (to qualify) due to missing time with an injury and not being a fulltime starter to start the season, but before long he will be amongst the league leaders in many important categories. As of right now he has not been selected to the all-star game next week, but maybe he can join if certain players bow out.
A few days ago, the Dodgers also recalled former Bulldog closer Joshua Fields from the Triple A affiliate in Oklahoma City. The flame thrower has gone back-and-forth this season from the majors to the minors and hopefully this time he will stay. On the season, Fields is a perfect 3-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 28 games out of the pen for the big club. The crazy thing is that the person that got sent down to the minors when Fields got called up was Mike Freeman who played infield for the Dawgs before transferring to the Clemson Tigers.
Also last week current Bulldog shortstop Cam Shepherd was named Freshman All-American by Baseball America. Shepherd is currently playing for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. He led the Dawgs in hits last season with 74 and had a .307 batting average (.310 against SEC teams) with five home runs.
Switching sports, I mentioned above that a former Georgia great is coming back to Athens. Jamie Hunt will be Georgia’s new associate head coach for men’s tennis. Hunt was a four-time All-SEC player and won two NCAA Championships with the Bulldogs in 2007 and 2008. He had 116 career wins as a singles player and his 238 career wins in singles and doubles combined ranks him third on the all-time Georgia record book. The past three seasons he has been the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for Vanderbilt.
Speaking of tennis, Hunt’s former teammate John Isner will be the 23rd seeded player as Wimbledon begins this week. Isner will face 19-year old American Taylor Fritz on Tuesday morning. The two faced each other last year in Atlanta and the Bulldog won in straight sets. If you remember it was 2010 in Wimbledon where Isner played the longest match in tennis history against Nicolas Mahut (11 hours and 5 minutes of game time and three days to complete). Isner won by the final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68.
Current men’s tennis player Emil Reinberg defeated Max Purcell and later William Blumberg before falling to Christian Harrison in a ITF Futures event in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Purcell was the second seed in the tournament and is ranked in the top 300 of the world and Blumberg if you recall reached the finals of the NCAA Tournament for North Carolina a few months ago in Athens. Reinberg was a sophomore for Manny Diaz’s team that finished seventh overall and won their fifth straight SEC title last season.
From tennis to golf, Rinko Mitsunaga qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur last week by shooting three under par and claimed medalist honors in Roswell, Georgia. The rising junior will compete next month in San Diego. Incoming freshman Stephanie Carras may have a chance to play as well as she is currently an alternate for the event.
On the men’s side in the pro ranks… Harris English finished the best among the former Bulldogs at the Quicken Loans National in Potomic, Maryland. English finished tied for 22nd at one under par. Russell Henley and Hudson Swafford also made the cut.
On to track (Georgia’s best sport last season) former, current and future Dawgs won some big events in Sacramento last week. Kendell Williams continued her winning ways by winning the heptathlon again and Keturah Orji won the triple jump at the USATF Championships. Sam Drop won the 5,000 meters and incoming freshman Tara Davis won the long jump and the 100 meter hurdles. It looks like head coach Petros Kyprianou is good hands (or this case, feet) for the future.
Another Bulldog sport that continues to dominate is swimming. Some former and current Dawgs won titles in Indianapolis at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships. Hali Flickinger won the women’s 200-meter butterfly and Melanie Margalis won the 200-meter individual medley on the women’s side while Chase Kalisz won the 200-meter individual medley on the men’s side. Earlier that week Kalisz won the 400-meter individual medley while other Bulldog swimmers Jay Litherland and Gunnar Bentz finished second and third respectively.
In the world of baseball AND football, former Bulldog defensive back Sanders Commings was released by the Braves. The former Kansas City Chief batted .154 (2-for-13) with a double, an RBI and five runs scored in six games for the Danville Braves. Commings says he has not given up on baseball on will keep trying.
Finally the other day I noticed the CFL was on as well as some Arena Football. I did not see any former Bulldogs on the rosters but I did notice some players that some fans may remember… Lonnie Outlaw and Brendon Sesay.
*** cover photo courtesy of Dodgers Nation