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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

UGA Baseball has No. 5 Recruiting Class

From UGA Athletics:

The 2008 University of Georgia baseball recruiting class has been ranked fifth in the nation by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, it was announced Tuesday.

This marks the 26th consecutive year that "Collegiate Baseball" has ranked the top 40 baseball recruiting classes, and this marks the highest ranking ever for the Bulldogs. The top five this year consisted of Arizona State, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Georgia. The Sun Devils have a 20-member class led by 13 players who were selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year draft. Oregon posted their first signing class in 27 years as they re-establish baseball. The Ducks brought in 35 recruits including nine players that were drafted.

Georgia's recruiting class featured 15 newcomers including five that were drafted. A pair of third round picks highlights this year s freshmen class in outfielder/first baseman Chase Davidson (Milton HS, Alpharetta, Ga.) and outfielder/pitcher Zach Cone (Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.). Davidson and Cone chose the Bulldogs over offers by the Astros and Angels respectively. Davidson, a 6-5, 220-pounder, was the 88th overall pick in the draft. The left-handed hitting slugger batted .429 with 11 home runs and a .538 on base percentage as a senior for the Eagles. Cone, a 6-2, 200-pounder, was the 112th overall pick in the draft. He batted .424-6-23 with a .510 on base percentage and was 6-0 on the mound for the Panthers.

Davidson is the highest drafted freshman Bulldog to enroll since 1993 when pitcher Brian Powell did not sign after being selected in the third round (74th overall) by the California Angels. Also, the 2009 Bulldogs added a trio of right-handers to their staff in Michael Palazzone (Lassiter HS, Marietta, Ga.), Jeffrey Walters (St. Petersburg Fla. JC) and Cecil Tanner (Ware County HS, Waycross, Ga.). Palazzone was an 18th round pick of Atlanta, Walters went in the 30th round to Cleveland, and the Braves tabbed Tanner in the 36th round.

Georgia head coach David Perno said the Bulldogs have a good nucleus for the next few years with this incoming class.

This is a talented group, and we were fortunate to have several guys chose to come to Georgia where we know they will get a great education and have an opportunity to develop in our program. It s a tribute to the staff for their hard work in putting this class together. We expect several of our newcomers to be able to contribute this coming season.

The Bulldogs are going through fall practice. The annual Dogs-Pups scrimmages begin Wednesday at Foley Field at 4 p.m. The best-of-seven series continues Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by game three on Friday at 6 p.m. Game four will be Monday (4 p.m.) and the rest of the series is slated for Wednesday (4 p.m.), Thursday (7 p.m.) and Friday (4 p.m.).

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