Three Bulldogs recorded multi-hit games, including a trio of hits from senior Curt Powell, but Georgia ultimately fell 7-5 to in-state rival Georgia Tech on Tuesday evening at Foley Field.
Ross Ripple took the loss for the Bulldogs (12-22) after giving up three hits and three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Josh Heddinger picked up the win in relief for the Yellow Jackets (24-9), surrendering just one run and one hit through 1.2 innings. Powell went 3-5 on the night with two runs scored, and freshman Zack Bowers went 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman Jess Posey also notched a pair of hits.
The Bulldogs scratched one run across in the bottom of the first, as Powell led off the inning with a single to right. Two batters later, Farmer singled to left to place runners on the corners, and Walsh followed with an RBI single to center to plate Powell for the early 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning by both teams, Georgia Tech scored a pair of runs in the third off a two-RBI double to left by Zane Evans. Georgia evened the game up at three in the bottom half of the frame, as Powell recorded a one-out single and Cole brought him around to score with a double to center.
Ripple retired the Jackets in order in the fourth before Georgia picked up two more runs in the bottom of the inning. DeLoach led off with a single to left, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Bowers launched his fifth home run of the season over the left field wall to help the Bulldogs regain the lead at 4-2.
Georgia Tech responded with three runs in the fifth, as the first two batters of the inning reached base and later scored on a double to left field by Brandon Thomas. Thomas came home to score two batters later when Zane Evans singled to center to push the Jackets back in front, 5-4.
Georgia Tech added to their lead in the sixth, as Sam Dove drew a bases-loaded RBI walk to score A.J. Murray and push the lead to 6-4. Murray led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error by the Bulldogs, resulting in an unearned run for Heath Holder.
Mike Mancuso took the mound for Georgia in the seventh, retiring all three batters he faced, including a strikeout to end the inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh behind a leadoff single for Bowers, a walk by pinch-hitter Daniel Nichols and a single by Powell. Farmer recorded a one-out sacrifice fly to right to plate Bowers and pull the Bulldogs back within a run at 6-5. Powell was then picked off trying to steal second and tagged out to end the inning.
Jarrett Brown entered the game to pitch for the Bulldogs in the eighth, allowing no hits and no runs. Posey drew a two-out walk in the bottom half of the frame but the Bulldogs came up empty. Dylan Cole pitched the ninth inning for the Bulldogs, giving up one run on two hits, and Georgia was unable to mount a comeback in the ninth, going down in order.
“We did have a better approach at the plate and scored some runs, and we had the guys we wanted at the plate with a chance for a big inning, but it didn’t happen,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We made some errors tonight, and we haven’t shown that much this year so that was a surprise. We gave them eight base runners when you take those in to account and the walks, and that’s too many freebies for their lineup which is one of the best in the country. We’re not going to be able to get them out every time. Still, a few of the guys on the mound were impressive including Mike Mancuso, Jarrett Brown and Patrick Boling got us out of a jam. Our offense is starting to come around, we have to put it all together.”
Georgia returns to action this Friday when they travel to Auburn for a three-game series with the Tigers. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
All photos copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy, sonnykennedyphotography.com/