Friday nights have not always been kind to the Georgia Bulldogs this season. Georgia lost its season opener on a Friday against Evansville. Two weeks later the Bulldogs lost to North Florida in the first game of that series. However, Georgia changed that by setting the tone early in a 10-0 victory to open up a three-game series with the Lipscomb Bisons.
The Bulldogs led off with three-straight hits, including a double by Ben Anderson, who scored when Corey Collins drove him in. The Bulldogs took an early lead and never had to look back from there. Collins hit his team-high third home run of the year in the fourth inning to break the game open and give Georgia a 7-0 lead.
The fun did not stop there for the Bulldogs’ offense. Georgia received back-to-back-to-back home runs from Connor Tate, Riley King and Josh McAllister. The last time the Bulldogs did that was in 1987 against Georgia Tech. Chaney Rogers nearly made it four homers in a row, but his ball just missed clearing the right field fence, settling for a double. Georgia finished with 16 hits on the night.
“I think everybody is confident in each other,” said Collins. “I think tonight was a really good breakthrough night, everybody hit something. Everybody was ecstatic, it was awesome.”
Georgia’s offense should rightfully get most of the attention from Friday’s game, but freshman pitcher Luke Wagner was tremendous in his second career start. Wagner completed six innings on the mound, striking out three batters while surrendering four walks. Fortunately for Wagner, he was able to strand those runners he walked by getting multiple double play ground outs in the early innings. His record is now 3-0 this year with a .071 ERA.
“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, don’t get too down on yourself,” said Wagner on his mindset. “I just try to keep a steady head the whole way through.”
Nolan Crisp then came on in relief and finished the game for the Bulldogs. The transfer from Florida has struggled early this season but had his best outing since being in Athens on Friday night. Crisp finished his three innings only giving up one hit, and he totaled four strikeouts while recording his first save. Lipscomb only got three hits off of Wagner and Crisp during the game.
“I’m really happy for him, nobody works harder than him,” said Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin on Crisp’s performance. “Everything was sharper today. His command was really good, his slider was really good.”
Georgia improves to 11-3 on the season and will have star pitcher Ryan Webb on the mound for Saturday’s game. Webb was on a pitch count in his first start but should get extended action in his next outing. Stricklin said he hopes for Webb to throw about 80 to 85 pitches. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m at Foley Field.