Freshmen Blakely Brown and Shane Tucker combined for four innings of scoreless baseball out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs, but a quiet offensive effort meant Georgia (14-8, 1-2) could not overcome an early deficit and dropped Tuesday’s contest to Mercer (13-8) by a 3-1 final score on Tuesday night at Foley Field.
Brown and Tucker each tied their respective career highs of two innings of work, with Tucker allowing the only hit among the pair. The freshman duo also struck out a batter in the efficient four innings of work.
Nick King drove in the only run of the contest for Georgia, a two-out infield single that brought home freshman LJ Talley to reduce the Bulldogs’ deficit from 3-0 to 3-1. The home squad mustered only two hits the rest of the way, ultimately falling short by two runs.
Mercer jumped on top in the third, coming through for two runs on a two-RBI double to the wall in right with one out to take a 2-0 lead. The Bears tacked another run on in the following inning off Mike Mancuso, scoring after having runners on the corners and one out with an infield single for a 3-0 cushion.
The Bulldogs got one back in the bottom of the fourth, using King’s infield single with two outs to bring home Talley and pull back within two runs.
The offenses then each went quiet Tucker and Brown combined to blank Mercer the rest of the way. Georgia couldn’t muster any offense when it came to bat, and the Bulldogs lost 3-1.
– Keegan McGovern’s first-inning double extended his hitting streak to six games, and it was his team-leading seventh two-bagger of the year.
– Nick King’s RBI single in the fourth brought his RBI count on the year to five.
– Mike Mancuso made his second appearance of the season, matching his previous workload of 1.2 innings.
– Shane Tucker entered in the sixth inning and tied his career-long outing of two innings.
– Blakely Brown followed Tucker, and he also tied his career long of two innings.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On tonight’s game…
“We certainly need to put the ball in play more. You can’t strike out 12 times and expect to score any runs. We weren’t very good offensively tonight. We struck out looking six times with guys in scoring position. We didn’t compete the way we needed to compete. Our pitchers gave us a chance to win. They kept us in the game. But offensively we just weren’t very good tonight.”
On the upcoming series against Mississippi State…
“We’re going to see a great team and in a tough place to play. Starkville has great fans. They’re going to come out there, and it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be hostile. Our guys need to be ready to play. We just need to show some more toughness. We weren’t very tough tonight. Offensively, Mercer was just much better than we were.”
On Mercer’s pitching approach against Georgia…
“They threw strikes and they changed speeds. They did a good job and kept our hitters off balance. Our hitters didn’t take very many good swings tonight. It just was not very good offensively at all for us.”
So. OF Keegan McGovern
On Mercer’s pitching keeping Georgia off balance…
“I don’t think it was their pitching staff; it was mainly us. We didn’t have the at bats we wanted to have. Early on we told ourselves that we were not going to swing at the pitcher’s pitches. We just had a hard time doing it and never switched it. We just have to put this behind us and get ready for this weekend.”
On improving at the plate as a team…
“We’ll just go back and look at some film and see what’s going wrong. We’ll spend some time in the cage and try to fix things, but I think it’s more of a mental thing than it is a swing thing right now. We just have to go up there ready to hit and know that we’re better than the pitchers.”
Fr. P Blakely Brown
On the bullpen’s effort…
“I think we gave us a better chance to stay in it…If we had hit better early on then I think it would have been a different story, but that happens. Whenever we come together as a team then that’ll come.”
On mindset in a close game…
“Just to get out there and compete and get outs really and hope that we can pull it out with the bats in the later innings. It just didn’t happen tonight.”
The Bulldogs will head to Starkville, Mississippi for a SEC series against Mississippi State starting on Thursday.