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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Consistency is a Virtue for Grimm

Justin Grimm hasn't always been great, but he's been good enough that David Perno knows what he can expect from his sophomore right-hander -- and that's what's important this time of year.

Grimm is expected to get the start in Georgia's opener in the regionals against Ohio State just as he did in the SEC tournament opener, and no one will be happier than Perno if he gets the same results.

"He's been pretty good for us all year," Perno said of Grimm. "He's had a couple disappointing outings, but for the most part he's been pretty steady, throws strikes, has an electric arm, and he's been getting better every time out."

Grimm, who had served as Georgia's third starter most of the season, pitched 5 1/3 innings against Ole Miss in the SEC tourney opener, allowing just one earned run in a 6-3 Bulldogs win, which when combined with the recent struggles of No. 2 starter Alex McCree, made him an obvious selection to man the rubber against the Buckeyes on Friday. Ace Trevor Holder is expected to pitch Game 2.

"It just matches," Perno said of his projected starters. "Game 2 is probably the most important game of a regional because if you lose Game 1, you've got to win Game 2 to stay alive. And if you win Game 1, you need Game 2 or you're right back to where you started."

Grimm is 3-4 on the season with a 4.19 ERA, but he has been Georgia's most consistent starter during the past few weeks. Just as importantly, he has shown a knack for versatility, which means he'll likely be the choice to pitch Monday, too, should the Bulldogs need a third game to advance to Super Regionals.

"If it gets pushed to Monday, he'll be able to bounce back on two days, and Trevor's probably not as resilient as him," Perno said.

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