The Bulldogs (3-6) bats came alive early on a chilly night including a school record-tying three triples. Senior Kyle Farmer paced the attack with a career-high five-hit game while sophomore Hunter Cole went 3-for-6 with 4 RBI. The first four hitters in the Bulldog lineup combined to go 14-for-21.
“We swung the bats well, and any time you can only use two guys on the mound on Friday, that sets you up for the rest of the weekend,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We’ve been pretty good on Fridays, now we have to continue that the next two days. I’m encouraged with how we played tonight.”
In the first, Georgia tallied four runs on four hits highlighted by sophomore Jared Walsh’s first career triple, which scored two. UAB starting pitcher Tanner Bryant also struggled with control issues in the first, he hit a batter and had two wild pitches, one of which allowed Farmer to score. Bryant entered the game with a 0.93 ERA in two starts.
In the second, UAB (4-5) scored a run off freshman starter Sean McLaughlin. In the third, the Blazers and Bulldogs traded runs to put the score at 5-2. Georgia’s run came on a single by freshman Cody Sheedy, his first career RBI.
Sophomore Bulldog Nelson Ward led off the fourth with a triple into the right field corner, next a run scoring single by senior third baseman Curt Powell chased Bryant. Bryant gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs. He picked up his first loss of the season and is now 1-1. UAB right-hander Cory Eller came on in relief, the first batter he faced, Farmer, knocked a double into left field, Cole followed with an RBI infield single, which stretched the Georgia lead to five.
In the sixth, Georgia tacked on three more runs, two of them came when Cole smacked a triple to the right-center gap. This was the Bulldogs’ third triple of the game, and first time since a 2006 game against Florida that they did that. The triple also gave Cole four RBI on the night, which tied his career high.
In the eighth the Bulldogs added four more runs to extend the lead to 14-2. One run was knocked in by freshman Morgan Bunting, his first career hit and RBI.
Not only did Georgia’s bats shine Friday night as McLaughlin (2-0) also had a strong performance. He went five innings, while only allowing one earned run. Senior Blake Dieterich picked up a save with four scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts.
The series continues Saturday with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.
Follow Danny Bishop on Twitter @DBishop101