NCAA Baseball: Georgia Splits Doubleheader With Belmont


Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia won the first game of a doubleheader 2-1 in 10 innings against Belmont before dropping the second game 11-10 on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field.

With the split, Georgia moves to 2-4 on the season while Belmont’s record stands at 4-2.

The Bulldogs earned the win in the bottom of the 10th inning in the first game off a sacrifice fly from senior Kyle Farmer that scored senior Curt Powell from third base after a leadoff triple. The Bruins were limited to one hit in the opener, a solo home run by Matt Beaty.

“We’re getting closer and got some guys going today but still haven’t got everybody on track,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Belmont’s starter Chase Brookshire is solid, a veteran with 49 starts so we had to battle against him. We hung in there and found a way. In the second game, we got an early lead and then created some chaos of our own and they got a six-spot in the third inning. It was still early and we came back but the eighth inning was really disappointing. I liked how they guys rallied in the ninth with three runs but we came up short. Overall, we’re still walking too many guys, and we got to have some more easy innings especially after taking a lead. Also, we need to get a few of the veterans going at the plate.”

Freshman Sean McLaughlin earned the start in the first game, allowing just one hit and one earned run while striking out seven batters in five innings of work. Sophomore Jared Walsh came on in relief to earn the win, throwing one inning and allowing no runs in the 10th inning.

The Bulldogs totaled five hits in the first game, led by Brett DeLoach with two hits and a walk. Nelson Ward, Curt Powell and Hunter Cole also added a hit apiece. The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to a lead-off single to right by Cole. DeLoach followed with an infield single back to the pitcher, and Cole advanced to third after an error by the pitcher. Walsh then followed with a fielder’s choice RBI that plated Cole and gave Georgia the early 1-0 advantage.

Neither team scored in the third inning, but Belmont knotted the game up at one run apiece in the top of the fourth, as Beaty sent a line-drive solo home run to right field that bounced directly off of the scoreboard. Georgia would go on to retire the next 11 Belmont batters before Jared Breen finally broke the streak with a lead-off walk in the top of the eighth. However, a pair of ground-outs and a strikeout would end the inning for Belmont without any runs scored.

Neither team put a runner on base in the ninth inning, but the Bulldogs were finally able to scratch a run across in the bottom of the 10th to take the 2-1 victory. Powell led off the inning with a triple to right and Farmer followed with a game-winning RBI sacrifice fly to left field that scored Powell from third.

Patrick Boling earned the start for Georgia in the second game of the doubleheader, lasting 2.1 innings while surrendering six hits and six runs (five earned) to take the loss. Austin Coley earned the win for Belmont after giving up three earned runs through 6.1 innings, while Jessie Snodgrass earned the save.

Georgia totaled 16 hits in the second game, including a career-high three-hit night from Jared Walsh. Ward and DeLoach also recorded three hits apiece, while Nichols picked up two hits on the night. DeLoach finished the night 3-5 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs, while Walsh also went 3-5 with one run scored and a pair of RBIs. Freshman J.T. Phillips recorded a career-high three RBIs on the evening to go along with a hit.

The Bulldogs retired Belmont in order in the top of the first before taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Nelson Ward singled up the middle and advanced to second on an error by the center fielder and a sacrifice groundout to the pitcher by Powell advanced Ward to third. Farmer followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Ward for the Bulldogs’ first run of the game. Belmont tied the game up at one run in the top of the second, as Neil Hickman roped a two-out single into left and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jared Breen followed with an RBI single to center that plated Hickman to tie the game.

Georgia would respond with a three-run inning in the bottom of the second, beginning with a lead-off walk for freshman Daniel Nichols. DeLoach then reached on an error, allowing Nichols to safely advance to second, and a Jared Walsh double to center scored Nichols and moved DeLoach around to third. Phillips grounded out to shortstop on the following play, but DeLoach was able to score from third for Georgia’s second run of the inning. Two batters later, Ward singled to shortstop to score Walsh from third and give the Bulldogs an early 4-1 lead.

The Belmont offense exploded for six runs in the top of the third inning to take a 7-4 lead, behind six singles and a walk. After the Bulldogs were retired in order in the bottom half of the inning, neither team scored in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Bruins added one run in the top of the sixth, but Georgia responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. DeLoach led off with a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Walsh then sent an RBI single to left field to score DeLoach and narrow Belmont’s lead to 8-5. 

Belmont went down in order in the top of the seventh, before Georgia struck for two more runs in the bottom half of the frame. Powell singled to third and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and after Farmer was hit by a pitch, both runners moved up a base on an error by the Belmont second baseman. Two batters later, Nichols singled to right to score Powell and advance Farmer to third. Farmer would come around to score on a fielder’s choice RBI by DeLoach that pulled the Bulldogs back within a run at 8-7.

The Bruins added three more runs in the top of the eighth to extend the lead back to 11-7. The Bulldogs picked up two singles in the bottom half of the inning from pinch hitter Justin Bryan and Ward but were unable to plate either of the base runners. 

Dylan Cole entered the game to pitch in the ninth inning for Georgia, giving up one walk and a single while recording three strikeouts to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs led off with back-to-back singles from Hunter Cole and Nichols. DeLoach followed with an RBI double to left that scored Cole and advanced Nichols to third. J.T. Phillips continued the hitting streak two batters later with a single to left that plated both DeLoach and Nichols, pulling the Bulldogs back within a run at 11-10. The Bruins then made a pitching change, bringing in Snodgrass to record the final two outs on a fly ball to left and a strikeout that sealed the 11-10 victory for Belmont.

Georgia will conclude the series with Belmont Sunday at 2 p.m. at Foley Field.