Baseball: Dawgs Fall To Ole Miss in SEC Tournament Semifinal

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Baseball: Dawgs Fall To Ole Miss in SEC Tournament Semifinal

Mason Meadows
Mason Meadows

The 22nd-ranked Ole Miss Rebelsedgedseventh-ranked Georgia 5-3 to advanced to their second straight SEC Tournament final.

The Rebels (37-24), defending SEC Tournament champions, snapped Georgia’s six-game winning streak as the Bulldogs fell to 44-15. This marked the first time since 2011 that Georgia advanced to the semifinals, finishing 2-1 at the tournament held at the Hoover Met.

Bulldog catcher Mason Meadows made it 2-0 with his third home run of the year, a two-run blast off Rebel starter Houston Roth in the second inning. It was only the second home run he had allowed this season. Ole Miss got a run back in the third. Anthony Servideo led off with a base hit, collected his 22nd stolen base, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout from Thomas Dillard. In the fourth, the Rebels grabbed the lead on three straight hits to start the frame plus an RBI-groundout from Cooper Johnson that made it 3-2. With two outs and a 1-2 count on Jacob Adams, Bulldog right-hander Emerson Hancock left the game with a cut on his thumb. He will be fine, according to Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin when asked about Hancock in the postgame press conference. Georgia looked to Tony Locey and he got the last out.

In the fifth, Georgia tied the game on a two-out RBI-single by Aaron Schunk, scoring Chaney Rogers. He reached on a leadoff walk and took second on a wild pitch by Roth. After Schunk’s base hit, the Rebels went to their bullpen, bringing in Max Cioffi who got the final out. Ole Miss responded in the fifth as Grae Kessinger put the Rebels back in front 5-3 with a two-run home run, his fifth of the year. Ole Miss loaded the bases with nobody out, and Locey came back with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to minimize the damage and keep it a two-run contest.

Chaney Rogers
Chaney Rogers

Ole Miss used five pitchers on the day with Cioffi picking up the win to even his record at 2-2. Locey (10-2) allowed two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings and got the loss. Rebel closer Parker Caracci pitched into and out of trouble in the ninth for his 11th save.

In the ninth, Georgia got two on with nobody out after a base hit by Patrick Sullivan and a walk by Meadows. Rogers moved both into scoring position with a bunt. Caracci came back to strike out Tucker Maxwell and got Riley King to fly out to end the contest.

Dawg Tracks
*Redshirt sophomore catcher Mason Meadows notched his third home run of the year for a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning.
*Graduate DH John Cable extended his hitting streak to six games.
*With the game against Ole Miss Saturday, the Bulldogs have faced every team in the SEC this season. Coming into the SEC Tournament, they had not played Texas A&M, Arkansas and the Rebels but played them all here.
*Georgia reached the semifinals of the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2011,

Coaches Corner
Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin
On the game…
“I’d like to compliment Ole Miss for playing a really good game. They had some guys step up on the mound;  they made the plays defensively and got some big hits with some good at bats. We couldn’t get our offense going. We threw everything at them, and they came out on top today. I’m proud of our team, we got to Saturday and the semifinals. Now, we’ve got to get ready to host and be a national seed. Our goal is to win our last game and be national champions. ”

Aaron Schunk
Aaron Schunk

Player’s Perspective
Aaron Schunk
On the game…
“We were comfortable at the plate but our offense was not what it needed to be today. We hit some balls hard but right at some guys. Ole Miss hit some in some gaps in our defense and had a few fall too. Still, we know what we can do and with one swing in the ninth, we were right there. I’m confident and believe in this team and now it’s time to get ready for the NCAA Regional.”

Up Next
Georgia will learn Sunday night (approximately 8:30 pm ET) if it has been selected as one of the 16 host sites for an NCAA Regional. It will be released simultaneously on NCAA social media and the ESPN Bottom line.
On Monday at Noon ET, the NCAA Championships field of 64, the bracket and the 16 national seeds will be announced live on ESPNU.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.