The Bulldogs suffer first conference loss of season to Wildcats. The (14-6, 1-1) Georgia baseball team were not able to overcome (13-5, 1-1) Kentucky’s bats on Saturday afternoon, losing 11-4 at Foley Field. The Wildcats scored four runs in each of the fourth and sixth innings to seal the victory and snap Georgia’s six-game winning streak in game two of the series.
Kentucky’s Dustin Beggs (5-0) pitched seven innings of four-run ball to earn the victory, allowing six hits and no walks. The Bulldogs’ Heath holder was credited with the loss after going 3.1 innings and allowing five runs on four hits, four walks and one strikeout.
Georgia gave up a run early in the first, but evened the score in the second inning with a solo home run by Daniel Nichols to centerfield, his second of the week.
Kentucky regained the lead in the third before breaking the game open in the fourth. The Wildcats’ Zack Reks hit a leadoff home run in the fourth before Blakely Brown relieved Holder with one out and bases loaded. Kentucky was able to push across three more runs in the inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Georgia started to rally in its turn at bat. Stephen Wrenn singled to centerfield and a double from Keegan McGovern sent him home. Trevor Kieboom added an RBI single to cut Kentucky’s lead to three after four innings.
Kentucky widened the gap with four runs in the sixth inning before Georgia’s Mike Mancuso made his season debut on the mound to limit the damage. Freshman Michael Curry hit his fourth home run of the season to close out the inning for the Bulldogs.
Kentucky earned another run in the top of the seventh and Georgia was unable to mount a late comeback.
– Daniel Nichols homerun was his third of the season, 14th of his career.
– Keegan McGovern extended his on-base streak to 12 games with a fourth inning double, his sixth of the season.
– Mike Mancuso made his season debut, relieving Gist in the sixth.
– Freshman Michael Curry’s homerun was his fourth of the season, good for second on the team.
– Shane Tucker pitched two innings of scoreless relief to finish off the game for Georgia. The freshman did not allow a hit and earned his fourth strike-out of the season.
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On today’s game…
“I thought we swung the bat okay and we hit a lot of balls hard, but they were right at them. Unfortunately they found ways to find holes. It was their day today. Overall they were better than us. They had better at bats, they played defense better and they just flat out beat us today.”
On opportunity to win the series tomorrow…
“We talked about getting into Sunday, and in this league you want to have an opportunity to win the series and that’s what we have the opportunity to do tomorrow.”
On pitching performance…
“You can’t walk nine and expect to win, especially against a team like Kentucky who can swing the bat and the wind was blowing out. It didn’t seem like any guys could get comfortable out there. I thought Shane Tucker threw the ball well to finish it up. That was encouraging to see the freshman go out there and pitch like that, but you’re not going to win many games when you walk nine guys and we just got outplayed.”
Sr. 1B/DH Daniel Nichols
On his homerun to start the second inning…
“He challenged me with a fastball and I knew he was coming back with a breaking ball. He left it up in the zone and I was able to grab ahold of it.”
On bouncing back for tomorrow…
“We have to understand that we can win a series tomorrow. Our pitching was not great today, we did not make the plays and they did. They outplayed us today. The good news is we can come backtomorrow to win the series.”
So. OF Keegan McGovern
On today’s game…
“We as hitters have to do our job at the plate. Throughout the whole game we were hitting some balls hard, but they were right at their players.”
The mental rebound after the loss…
“We just have to put it behind us. There will be times when stuff like this happens. We have to come out ready to win the series tomorrow. We have to come out with a fire and energy, ready to go.”
On getting four runs off Kentucky’s Beggs…
“He is a really good pitcher. I think he had the best numbers in the SEC coming into this weekend. We hit some balls really hard off of him but we were still chasing at some curve balls in the dirt, but just learning to get a pitch up in the zone and put some good swings on it.”
Georgia will face Kentucky in game three of the series at Foley Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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