e” width=”1024″] Pitcher Ryan Lawlor (18) during a NCAA baseball game between the Georgia Bulldogs and SEC opponent Florida Gators on Lettermen’s Day at Foley Field on Friday, May 1, 2015 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)[/caption] [su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia’s late rally fell short in a 3-2 loss to eighth-ranked Florida at Foley Field on Saturday in front of 2,888 fans.
The Bulldogs (22-24, 7-15 SEC) dealt with a dominant showing from Florida starter A.J. Puk, and then got late inning heroics from freshman Mitchell Webb (7th inning game-tying RBI double) and sophomore Stephen Wrenn (game-tying 8th inning home run) before the Gators emerged with a run in the ninth for the victory to even the SEC series.
“A.J. Puk for them was outstanding, that was as good as we’ve seen all year long,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win. We got some clutch hits. Ryan Lawlor kept us in the game, and then we kept getting those hits with two outs, you can’t say enough about that. We got some big hits, we got two hits there in the ninth to give us a chance and just came up a little bit short today.”[su_spacer size=”20″] [su_spacer size=”20″]
Puk gave up only two hits across six scoreless innings while becoming the first Gator to record double digit strikeouts (11) in a game since 2012. The sophomore retired the last 16 batters he faced. The outing overshadowed a strong performance from the Bulldogs’ Lawlor, who held the Gators (34-13, 14-9 SEC) to one earned run over five innings with four walks and three strikeouts.[su_spacer size=”40″] Webb’s double in the seventh tied the game at 1-1 before Wrenn’s solo shot tied the game again at 2-2 heading into the ninth. The Gators then scored the go-ahead run on a pinch-hit single by freshman Jeremy Vasquez in the top half. Georgia received two-out singles from both Webb and Brandon Stephens before Skyler Weber grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game. [su_spacer size=”20″] [su_spacer size=”20″] Florida’s Bobby Poyner (4-1) got the victory after pitching three innings of relief, giving up one run and notching three strikeouts. Sean McLaughlin (3-5) received the loss after giving up two runs on four hits, two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. [su_spacer size=”40″]
The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday at 1:05 p.m. and be televised by SEC Network+.
Also of note Saturday, the Bulldogs held their annual Baseball Lettermen’s Day with a special focus on the 25th year anniversary of the 1990 National Championship team. A total more than 20 members from that squad along with head coach Steve Webber were in attendance. All-American shortstop J.R.Showalter (on the 1990 squad) received an Outstanding Athletic Achievement Award while 1968 captain Spratt Bullock earned a Distinguished Lettermen Award.
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